Kyle’s Theme

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

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

Kyle Gibson (PHI) @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 96 pitches.

There really isn’t a whole to say about Kyle Gibsoneven after impressing with a 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 96 pitches performance against the Marlins. His slider and cutter were far from exceptional – just 15% CSW and 4/46 whiffs between them – his sinker found the edges and induced outs as it can, and there was nothing new to emphasize.

I simply wanted to display how Gibson is a perfect example of a TobyThe man holds a 4.35 ERA and 1.20 WHIP on the year, recently dancing from a pair of starts returning 11 ER to just 1 ER in his last two. It’s the dance of a man who can go six frames with a Win on a given night and I know many of you need to play it. He’s not changing anything he does, Gibson brings his arsenal to the table, spins the wheel, and goes home to sleep on silk sheets. Because, you know, baseball players and their money.

Let’s applaud that this worked and acknowledge the pitchers who give us the chances for production without getting the hoopla of double-digit strikeout games or elite ratios.


Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:


Clayton Kershaw (LAD) @ LAA (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.

Aces gonna ace for the TATIAGA. He just had to allow that hit in the eighth, didn’t he. I may be pushing Kershaw up a touch on Monday as he’s allowed 2 ER or fewer in nine of his last ten starts. I do wonder if the injury risk is still higher for him than others down the stretch, but I may be overthinking that.

Alex Wood (SF) vs MIL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 84 pitches.

Despite the 0 ER on record, he allowed three unearned runs in the fifth, causing an early hook despite the lovely line otherwise. He sat 93(!) mph on the heater in this one and carried a 53% CSW on the changeup as we’re starting to believe he’s turned a corner. I’m holding onto him now.

Matt Bush (TEX) vs SEA (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 13 pitches.

He opened for 2 ER (4 R) across four frames of Taylor Hearnwho managed to fan seven in the process. Hearn sat 95.7 mph instead of the season average of 94.5 mph and maybe there’s something to be said of tossing just 72 pitches instead of starting proper. It came with a 1.75 WHIP, though, so let’s do anything silly with Hearn.

Alek Manoah (TOR) vs KC (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. This was the B-Team Royals offense and Manoah had his velocity back with plenty of slider whiffs. He was who we thought he was.

Cole Irvin (OAK) @ HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 67 pitches.

Ohhhhh so this was the only correct stream of the day. Irvin. Sitting 1.3 mph down on his heater to just 89.4 mph. Getting all the BABIP luck to average 11 pitches per inning. Against the Astros. How could I have been so foolish?

Ian Anderson (ATL) @ WSH (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 101 pitches.

He’s a Cherry Bomb and the WHIP speaks to his volatility even if the ERA does not. He had some glorious pitch separation – this is the best I’ve seen his changeup and four-seamer! – and if he could only get his curveball over the dang plate with consistency, he’d be cruising, but alas, the hook held a 45% strike rate. This is surprisingly so close and yet I don’t believe he’ll get there. Sigh.

Sandy Alcantara (MIA) vs PHI (L) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 106 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It was a rare tie for the King Cole as Ray and Sandy matched their CSW (and total pitches) on the dot, but Sandy came two whiffs short of the GG. So it goes. Oh, and he had Sixteen whiffs on his changeup alone tonight. Because of course he did, his name is Sandy Alcantara.

Germán Márquez (COL) vs PIT (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

Márquez has had four or fewer strikeouts in four of his last five games. Ouch. I’m glad you had this Birthday Partyno need to send a thank you note.

Brandon Woodruff (MIL) @ SF (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 112 pitches.

Aces gonna…take a step back. He would have a Win if not for Hader’s ridiculous ninth, and I’m a little encouraged that his velocity was above 96 mph again. He didn’t have his best command here, though, and I wouldn’t consider this a return to the dire weeks of April. Play it cool, y’all.

Michael Kopech (CWS) @ MIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 90 pitches.

So he only allowed two earned runs, but just two strikeouts and a 1.80 WHIP ain’t it. At least the fastball was 95/96 instead of 93-95, but his slider held a paltry 14% CSW despite 47% usage. This ain’t it.

Patrick Sandoval (LAA) vs LAD (L) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 102 pitches.

You may have started The Irish Panda for his strikeout potential after earning nearly 20 whiffs on his slider and changeup last time out and…yeah. 8/53 whiffs between the stellar secondaries ain’t what you were looking for. As for the rest of it, you knew the risk given the Dodgers and we can only hope he rebounds next weekend.

Zach Plesac (CLE) vs DET (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.

Blegh. I was hoping he could go five frames to steal a Win here and his slider was nothing like we’ve seen over the past month or two, returning 0/10 whiffs. I imagine this was an off-night and not him falling back down to 2021 levels, but I may be cautious against the White Sox.

Luis Patiño (TB) vs BAL (ND) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 56 pitches.

I’m shocked he went 3.1 frames instead of two or fewer and zero strikeouts ain’t the man we dreamed of. The heater didn’t overwhelm like we saw last year, sitting over a tick down velocity-wise, but this was his first game of the year. I’m a little skeptical but also curious what we see after the break.

Devin Smeltzer (MIN) vs CWS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 67 pitches.

If you were surprised he got an early hook, you’re not alone – Devin expressed the same feelings in his post-game conference. Sure, it was a HAISTBMBWT?! but give him two more frames to iron out those ratios and it could have been fine. I hope this isn’t a major shift of the Twins limiting Smeltzer in the future.

Yu Darvish (SD) vs ARI (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 114 pitches.

It’s starting to feel like I should be giving Darvish the AGA label soon as he holds a 3.41 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 23% strikeout rate through 108.1 frames thus far (and a sub 3.00 ERA after his 9 ER catastrophe in his second start). It is 3+ ER in three of his last four starts though…We’ll see.

Robbie Ray (SEA) @ TEX (W) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 106 pitches.

Aces gonna ace for a Golden Goaleven if it came with a near PQSThat sinker has saved his season and we’ll be talking about all through the winter. Wild.

José Urquidy (HOU) vs OAK (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 97 pitches.

I’ll absolutely take a slightly better PQS with nine strikeouts from Urquidy and a 1.00 WHIP. I’m still weirded out by his four-seamer performing at its current level, but at least his curveball made a solid performance here with a 70% strike rate and 45% CSW. Keep rolling with this.

Jordan Montgomery (NYY) vs BOS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 93 pitches.

Huge props to Montgomery as he, once again, produced against the Red Sox. I understand if you’re in a standard league and a 4.50 ERA ain’t helping, but the guy pitched well against a tough offense and had a chance for a Win. It strengthens our trust in The Bear and you should be happy about it.

Tyler Wells (BAL) @ TB (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

Ehhhh that’s a Philly but at least we got six strikeouts across sixteen whiffs as the slider and changeup returned 37% CSW between them. Thing is, I don’t even think he had the best command, either. Weird, I know. He’s likely to get the Yankees after the break, so you can take a break here and not feel like you need to hold Wells if there’s something else that weekend. I don’t think you’re going to see 15+ whiffs from Wells constantly.

Andre Pallante (STL) vs CIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

I have some intrigue with Pallante given the 95+ mph velocity, but his secondaries just don’t impress me enough to latch on. If his slider becomes a legit offering, then we’ll chat or some biscuits and tea or something. Maybe some hot cocoa because this is gonna take until winter, isn’t it.

Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) @ NYY (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 78 pitches.

Save for a three-run shot off the bat of Stanton, Eovaldi survived against the Yankees. Velocity was down to just 94.7 mph, which is pleb levels for Eovaldi and I’d expect that to rise with more time. I’ll have him in the Questionable Start tier for his next start against the Jays after the break, and I think we’ll be fine with him after that.

Zack Greinke (KC) @ TOR (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 83 pitches.

Y’all knew this would be the outcome. You don’t need me.

Drew Hutchison (DET) @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

Like all you NL-purists, you should ban the DH from your teams.

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) @ SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 104 pitches.

Womp womp. Despite boasting a 92.6 mph heater, his cutter returned just 8% CSW and his curveball said Hold my beer as it went 1/15 for 7% CSW. Yep. Don’t overlook Bumgarner for a stream against a better matchup in the future, though – we’ve seen success more often than not when he sits 91+ mph.

Hunter Greene (CIN) @ STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 106 pitches.

He’s a Cherry Bomb and while I don’t think he pitched all too different than we’ve seen, it didn’t work out. You know the deal you made rostering Greene and this start doesn’t mean he can’t excel next time. Sometimes he’s the Hunter and other times he’s the Hunted.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 106 pitches.

Eight strikeouts are eight strikeouts…Fine. But 93.4 mph on his heater and solid slider locations down. NICK. PLEASE. Fiiiiiiine. I’ve been intrigued by Corbin returning to form for about 18 months now. One day…

José Quintana (PIT) @ COL (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 103 pitches.

Well, yeah. It wasn’t smooth last time for Quintana and a date in Coors was destined for this. Doesn’t mean he can’t recover after the break, though.


Game of the Day 


Max Meyer vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Okay, so I thought it was yesterday but it’s actually this afternoon. Can’t wait.

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 Rich Graessle/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.

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