Pitcher In The Rye

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Saturday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Ryan Feltner (COL) @ SD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Sooooo I have another mini-crush on a player and it’s really not fair that Ryan Feltner pitches for Colorado. If you can, take a moment to watch his start yesterday against the Padres where he went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches as he peppered 98 mph in the first frames (he was 92-96 by the end) and overwhelmed inside the zone — he sat 95.6 mph as he increased his velocity once again (93.5, then 94.5, and now this!). Thing is, the pitch kinda fell off after the second, but his slider stepped up to go 44% CSW and 21/25 strikes and what I see is a guy who would normally be of interest.

But, you know, Coors. Oh, and the fact Feltner only started this game because of the doubleheader and now will be ousted by Antonio Senzatela. That man will always find a way to haunt me. So what can we do? We can take note of Feltner and be on the lookout for any future starts he makes on the road against teams like the Padres. Don’t forget it.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Jordan Montgomery (NYY) vs CHC (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 96 pitches.

Look at you go, Jordan. Another solid outing under a strikeout per inning and we don’t care. The sinker CSW is heavily correlated with your success and seeing a 37% clip yesterday was a wonderful thing. Keep it up, fella.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s just so dang good and I wonder if he also belongs in that top tier. SO MANY GOOD PITCHERS.

Beau Brieske (DET) vs TOR (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 86 pitches.

Can’t say I expected BB to allow zero BB against the Jays but here we are. There may be a temptation to try it against the Rangers next, I think it’s not rewarding enough. That’s not a great WHIP on his best day, y’all.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ HOU (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 83 pitches.

Major props to you, Garrett. He kept his sinker and slider down and messed a bit with Astros hitters. There could be something here if he were getting a weak team next, but I wouldn’t start him against the Mets. Sit that out.

Sam Long (SF) vs LAD (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 48 pitches.

You shouldn’t long for Long. Long won’t start for long. Long.

Michael Lorenzen (LAA) vs NYM (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Can’t say I expected this strong of an outing from Lorenzen, who has mostly only been able to perform well against weaker lineups. Does this mean we’re okay starting him against the Mariners now? Yes…?

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.

Aces gonna ace…at the cost of your WHIP. It’s been weird to see Gausman fail to soar with his four-seamer as of late, returning just 1/33 whiffs against the Tigers. The Tigers! He failed to get the pitch up as he normally does, but fortunately, the splitter was well spotted and demolished enough batters to keep his ERA down (one unearned run). I expect a resurgence at some point, but I kinda want Sandy/Wheeler more right now.

Nick Martinez (SD) vs COL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 97 pitches.

You know, it’s about dang time Martinez had a ridiculous strikeout start. I’m not saying it should be a typical thing from him, but his stuff has shown enough flashes that there was bound to be a day where it all came together. With Clevinger on the COVID IL, it may mean he gets another outing this week against the Cubs. With the way everything worked here, there’s a temptation to just let him fly, especially with this high pitch count. Consider it.

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) @ PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

That’s a WHIP killer but at least he survived against the Phils — with a two-run shot wiped away by an error. I don’t expect more survival against the Twins.

Hunter Greene (CIN) @ STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 101 pitches.

The man keeps rolling as his four-seamer command improves, allowing him to go the BSB as he shockingly threw just 37% fastballs. Insane. That slider has become the pitch for Greene (56% usage!) and I’m kinda loving it. I guess we’re starting him against the Brewers, yeah?

Kyle Freeland (COL) @ SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 96 pitches.

Hey, props to Freeland for taking advantage of a start outside Coors, especially against a dangerous lineup for southpaws. Welp, see ya later.

Framber Valdez (HOU) vs MIA (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 97 pitches.

Why does the WHIP always need to be a problem, Valdez? Because he walks batters and his hyper-high groundball rate increases the overall BABIP. YES I KNOW WHY BUT LET ME VENT A LITTLE. Okay okay, yeeeesh. 

Zach Thompson (PIT) @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 67 pitches.

Hey, great job Thompson. The curveball finally showed up — 6/13 whiffs! — and the cutter earned outs. That’s the Zach attack we’ve wanted…except for the 0/25 whiffs on his cutter. It’s not enough to start him against the Giants.

Clayton Kershaw (LAD) @ SF (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 71 pitches.

Hey, he’s back! And the slider was fantastic while he sat 91 mph. I feel like he would have gone two more frames of 0 ER to make this a legit gem if his pitch count were higher. Feel great about it.

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs CIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.

He ran into some trouble in the third, but that was it for Waino as he continue his revenge tour after I said he may be done. Well, to be faaair, those ratios are kinda questionable. But yeah, we’re still starting Waino with regularity. For now.

Zach Plesac (CLE) vs OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

Sooo I guess a PQS from Plesac is acceptable? Well, not in non-QS leagues as this start gave you nada. The slider is still good — yay! — but the changeup was not and that’s the last piece of the puzzle. Get that pitch cooking again, please-ac!

Tyler Wells (BAL) @ KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

Yeah, I’d absolutely take a PQS from Wells against the Royals. This feels like the best-case scenario, though, so for standard leagues, you know to avoid.

George Kirby (SEA) vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

Hmmmm, I guess it’s better than the 4 ER against Boston last time, but I’m still a little sad that the secondaries aren’t doing more to help out the heater. He’s still around the SP #50 zone in my book given the decent floor with his four-seamer and the chance for more if something clicks with his breakers or changeup.

Michael Wacha (BOS) @ SEA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 91 pitches.

Wait, it’s not a CGSHO?! I’M SHOCKED. I’m not starting him against the Cardinals next time, either.

Chi Chi González (MIN) vs TB (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 68 pitches.

You don’t want to collect this CCG.

Charlie Morton (ATL) vs PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 102 pitches.

Lol. A Golden Goal with twelve strikeouts, but of course he allowed 4 ER in the process. Talk about frustrating. It’s a case where you need to truly believe what’s happening “under the hood,” understand he’s pitching as well as he has for ages, and ignore the outcome of runs. He gets the Cubs next and I’m excited for it.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 103 pitches.

Even when Corbin gets a Win, it’s not really a victory.

Daniel Lynch (KC) vs BAL (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 83 pitches.

Blegh. I know, the strikeouts yeah yeah yeah but his consistency isn’t there and I can’t help but wonder if he gets dealt somewhere else that he’s just a tweak from a smart coach to make it all come together. Just a thought.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 81 pitches.

Jeeeeeeez Giolito. He made some mistakes on his slider and four-seamer and got punished for them. He’s still earning whiffs galore, though, and the luck needs to go back in his favor soon. He’s fine and kinda makes for a good buy low if his manager is getting sick of it.

Frankie Montas (OAK) @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

Welp, no AGA label for you, buddy. That splitter wasn’t the pitch it needed to be as the slider/cutter wasn’t great. Sigh. Just keep starting him, starts like these are part of the package.

Carlos Carrasco (NYM) @ LAA (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 77 pitches.

Blegh. I was hoping the Angels could stay cold and Carrasco could have both his slider and changeup and…well he did, but his sinker got hit hard and life wasn’t fun. Let’s hope for a bounceback against the Brewers.

Shane Baz (TB) @ MIN (L) – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 48 pitches.

Womp womp. He cruised through two frames, allowed a single on a flare, then lost his command from the stretch, missing armside and failed to make the adjustment. It led to walking the bases loaded and a grand slam…but wait, there’s more! He walked the next batter, then allowed a near HR-double to score the fifth. Not great, Bob. I don’t think he pitched nearly as poorly as the 5 ER suggest, but the command did fall apart in that fifth and he just couldn’t get out of it. This is a great buy-low moment as he’s not nearly this terrible and the velocity is still there.

Matt Swarmer (CHC) @ NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

I mean, it was the Yankees. This was too risky to chase. Now the Padres? That’s an interesting start to chase given his slider being the main focus — 58% usage! — and its excellent 13/52 whiff return. I’m for it.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 12 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 101 pitches.

YOU CANNOT STOP MART—Wait. It happened. His changeup was still elite, but cutters and sinkers found the heart of the plate constantly and the White Sox messed him up. Soooo now what? Well, you can either try one more outing to see if this was just a blip or you can outright jump ship. Usually, this is the sign of normalcy returning, but there’s a chance he rebounds given how he still had the changeup feel. Your call.

MacKenzie Gore (SD) vs COL (L) – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 63 pitches.

Jeeeeeeeeeeeez Gore, this was Rockie RoadHis fastball command was all over the place, he couldn’t spot his slider or changeup, and the curveball did all it could but it wasn’t enough. Man, I thought we were past this. It sure makes his date in Coors pretty dang uncomfortable, like sliding into that pair of jeans fresh from the wash. It’s not supposed to be this tight. I’m thinking of benching there just to be safe, but he should be fine through the year. Just a bump.

Eric Lauer (MIL) @ WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.

Well this is getting rough now, isn’t it. His velocity was down once again to 92.5 mph and could not get his breakers down for the life of him. It meant batters could keep their eyes up in the zone and wallop Lauer, especially without the harder heater. It’s tough to assess right now — do I expect the April velocity to return? How about the breaker command? — but he gets the Reds next and I have to think the reward is worth the risk there. If you disagree, I completely get it, I’m still giving this a chance versus what’s on the wire.


Game of the Day 

Edward Cabrera vs. Justin Verlander – The rook vs. the vet. This is the fun stuff. Note: I’m a doofus and did the GotD yesterday as Sunday’s. WHATEVER IT’S THE SAME, DEAL WITH IT.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday through Friday.

Photo from Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

2 responses to “Pitcher In The Rye”

  1. Floyd says:

    I get what you are saying re: Framber Valdez in general but his stat lines have been great lately, including this game. I will take a 1.17 WHIP with a K per inning and a 3.00 ERA. The only issue was the he didn’t get the win (and gave up 2 unearned runs).

  2. Brandon says:

    I read your take on Hunter Green, you ended with a question, you’re the expert, I am not, please spell it out for me. Yes, I have been too clever for my own good at times. I have a wealth of pitching but still fighting for a win this week and need to drop someone, but am willing to hold.

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