Last Mitch Effort

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Monday 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.  

Mitch Keller (PIT) @ MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

I guess we have to talk about Mitch Keller again? The fella went 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches against the Marlins after a pair of difficult outings and I can grasp that some may keep an eye on him after the break.

I’m here to say this was a Birthday Party and a weird one at that. His velocity was dramatically down across the board, from four ticks on his slider to 1.5 on his sinker and four-seamer and over two on his curveball. His slider + curve induced just 3/49 whiffs, and his 9/25 called strikes on sinkers is what propelled him through seven frames. Oh, and he gets Coors next.

Sooooo yeah, I probably didn’t need to feature Keller tonight, but I just wanted to give y’all the reminder that Mitch isn’t back on the menu. He had himself a night, let’s be happy for him, and not do anything silly.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


Matt Wisler (TB) vs BOS (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 17 pitches.

Wisler opened for three frames and 4 ER of Josh FlemingAnd none rejoiced. 

Miles Mikolas (STL) vs PHI (W) – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 99 pitches.

The man just keeps on cruising. It’s hard to rank him on The List as I have him in the early 50s today. The fifties?! But he has a sub 3.00 ERA and sub 1.00 WHIP! I know, I know, but he also has a sub .240 BABIP and The List is about from this moment moving forward, not a ranking of the last three months. I have to believe Mikolas is going to regress a significant amount while still recording a sub 20% strikeout rate. Sure hope not, though.

Merrill Kelly (ARI) @ SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.

Great work from Kelly as he took down the Giants in consecutive outings despite not having his best stuff. The man is a Toby and if that means you need to start him Sunday against the Padres, it’s what you have to do. Try to guess his ERA and WHIP right now — I bet you didn’t come up with a 3.36/1.22, did ya. Pretty dang surprising and don’t get too attached to that sub 3.50 clip.

Max Scherzer (NYM) @ ATL (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s making one h*ck of a case to keep climbing Tier 1 for next week with this Golden GoalThe dude is absurd.

Brad Keller (KC) vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.

Ayyyyy it worked! Keller had another solid day with his heater — 94.7 mph, 33% CSW — as the slider earned a massive 74% strike rate. Props to y’all if you streamed him, now let him go back to Baltimore the wire as he faces the Jays.

Spencer Howard (TEX) vs OAK (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 84 pitches.

At least he’s throwing 44% cutters now instead of just chucking heaters? Congrats on the Win an overall not-harmful start, though excuse my lack of enthusiasm, I was hoping for more than one strikeout. HAISTBMBWT?!

Sean Manaea (SD) @ COL (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 91 pitches.

Atta boy Manaea, even with a touch of Careful, Icarus at the end. I was harsh on Manaea in today’s edition of The List and sadly I don’t have a whole lot to get excited about here to reverse it — just 4/28 combined CSW on sliders + changeups, while the heater sat at just 90.2 mph, relying on 19/63 called strikes to survive this one. Pretty dang fortunate, if you ask me. I’d sell high here if that’s somehow an option.

José Ureña (COL) vs SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 90 pitches.

Um, that counts as surviving for Ureña, even if it’s one ER away from a VVPQSI can’t imagine you’ll gravitate to this, but in case you do, please remember: If you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble.

Trevor Rogers (MIA) vs PIT (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 101 pitches.

It really does feel like we’re getting closer toward Rogers figuring it out, but he’s still missing a few tweaks as too many pitches landed middle here while some at-bats got away from him. Still, the slider returned 44% CSW and I’m still curious. Not worth the hold necessarily and I’ll let you know when the start hits. 15 whiffs still, FWIW.

Michael Pineda (DET) @ KC (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 77 pitches.

Like Goldblum said, Pineda, uh, finds a way. Pretty sure those exact words. The ceiling ain’t very high and it’s generally not something to chase, but at least he’s there for a Win chance and a decent throw at a sub 4.00 ERA if you need it.

Max Fried (ATL) vs NYM (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna…meh. That 2.00 WHIP hurts as Fried had an off-day, which he honestly deserves a pass on if anyone — he had a 2.52 ERA and 1.02 WHIP entering this outing. Kinda wild.

Daniel Lynch (KC) vs DET (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 72 pitches.

I can’t say I disliked Lynch’s command here and I think he could have survived another inning if he was allowed to go past 72 pitches…as he left this one with an injury: a cut on his finger. Sigh. I’ve seen this Lynch film before and I don’t want to go through it again.

Alex Cobb (SF) vs ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 100 pitches.

Is a VVPQS better luck? Nope. Yeah, didn’t think so. You want off this ride and I really don’t blame you at all. It’s just not worth it against the Brewers and possibly the Dodgers after the break.

Cal Quantrill (CLE) vs CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 93 pitches.

Despite being ultra-dependable for the first two months, Quantrill has returned just one PQS or better in his last five starts now. At least he gets the Tigers next, the worst team in the majors against right-handers. But he allowed 3 ER in four innings last time out! Welp, if you don’t want to start him against the Tigers, what’s the point?

Adrian Martinez (OAK) @ TEX (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.

You could get one more strikeout in one fewer out, could you? I could have called you Skywalker as the fours would have been with you. So close.

Alex Faedo (DET) @ KC (L) – 1.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 60 pitches.

Sigh. I miss the days when the slider reigned and steered Faedo through 5+ frames. I wish people told me I was living through the golden days when they happened.

Aaron Nola (PHI) @ STL (L) – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna frustrate but still give you a 1.00 WHIP and seven strikeouts. Come on Nola, I thought we were past this poor luck. Go talk to that clover or toss a penny in the well again. Or talk to 2015 Marco Estrada? Yes! Exactly that.

Brayan Bello (BOS) @ TB (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.

I had a hunch his MLB debut was a product of jitters and that hunch…wasn’t quite right. His command was still wildly off here, as he tossed a whole lot down the pipe and was inconsistent with sliders and changeups. Yeah, we can pass on Bello completely now, especially with the Sawx likely turning to Kutter or Winckowski for any extra rotation spots with Sale and Eovaldi returning shortly. We’ll see you down the road, Bello.

Lance Lynn (CWS) @ CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 100 pitches.

Yeeeeeeeesh. I debated lowering Lynn more today but thought better as I didn’t want to discredit his lower fastball velocity to shaking off rust as we’d seen from many other starters this season. Welp, he sat 92.5 mph here (91.1 mph on his sinker, blegh) and I’d likely have him around José Berríos if I were updating The List tonight. Don’t rule out Lynn recovering after this outing, but he’s a clear sit against the Twins this week. I hope he shows us something to instill confidence once again. Sidenote: What has gotten into the White Sox starters? Can’t say I expected Dylan Cease to be the only reliable arm in the middle of July.


Game of the Day 


Chris Sale vs. Tampa Bay Rays – I’m excited to see what Sale brings to the table in the 2022 season. It may take a few starts to rev the engine properly, though.

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 by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns 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 “Last Mitch Effort”

  1. Chucky says:

    Can’t keep blaming the luck on Nola’s inability to be that dominant pitcher. He seems to cruise until *that* fateful inning. He’s not even the best pitcher on his team anymore.

  2. Rocket says:

    Max came up big against a Braves team that has been on a roll. That is what great pitchers do. His K of Acuna was a clinic. 97 mph heater on the outside edge after being set up nicely with some slow stuff on his hands. All Acuna could do was look at it. The only reason I can think of to not list him back in the #1 spot is his lack of innings.

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