Bear Witness

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

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

Jordan Montgomery (NYY) @ HOU (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 86 pitches.

I’ve been pretty quiet about Jordan Montgomery’s successful 2022 season but after today’s 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 86 pitches against the Astros (congrats on the Golden Goal!) I need to give him legit praise as he’s boasting a wonderful 3.24 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP…and with the same Wins curse of last year for whatever reason.

My tepid nature toward The Bear has been rooted in his general inability to fan batters (he entered this game with just a 19.5% strikeout rate), but this is his second game of eight strikeouts in four games and you can thank the changeup returning 7/22 whiffs, while the sinker dominated for 38% CSW and seven whiffs of its own.

I’m not sure I’m sold on the strikeout revolution (even if his near 14% SwStr rate does suggest otherwise) as he’s a bit too inefficient with two strikes in general, but I need to give props where it’s due as JorMont has endured three starts of BOS, @BOS, @HOU, and got just 5 ER total. Those tough matchups may be masking a legit step forward that makes way for a lovely second half. Here’s to hoping.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Jon Gray (TEX) @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Did he sit 96 mph? Yes, in fact it was closer to 97 mph. Did he earn whiffs on his slider? 10/49 works for me. So he did well? Dude, the line is, like, right, above you. I wonder how long Gray keeps this up and if it’ll force him up draft boards this winter. Imagining that hypothetical, I don’t think I’d have him inside my Top 25/30 SP, but I can understand a case for it. Could get interesting as he certainly has the open door for 180+ frames. Injuries are a silly thing, though.

Tarik Skubal (DET) @ OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 92 pitches.

Skubal came out with a vengeance, boasting nearly 1.5 mph increased velocity on his heater to 95.4 mph, while his slider tallied a lovely 31% CSW across 39 thrown. His sinkers were located well arm-side and it all worked. Now, this was the Athletics and he hung far too many sliders in this one for me to get truly excited, but the sinker command + increased four-seamer velocity are two important steps toward Skubal’s recovery. He gets a pair of increasing challenges against the middling Padres offense followed by the Blue Jays and I’m awfully curious what we will see. I think the Jays would have walloped his slider in this one, but maybe the breaker + the change improve by then.

Mitch White (LAD) vs SF (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 82 pitches.

Ayyyy it worked! Sure, it came with a HAISTBMBWT?! but who cares with those ratios from a random dart throw with Mitch. Just 1/36 whiffs on breakers should be enough to steer you away from gambling like this again, though – that’s supposed to be White’s strength.

Frankie Montas (OAK) vs DET (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 53 pitches.

The Athletics limited him as he hadn’t pitched since early July and he did everything we wanted, even sitting a tick higher on his sinker. I wonder if it’s his last game in an Oakland uniform – maybe he goes one more to show he’s okay stretched out before getting dealt. Either way, be happy as a fantasy manager to have Montas back and doing his thing.

Cristian Javier (HOU) vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 99 pitches.

The four-seamer command was an issue once again. When it worked, it worked, but many sailed up-and-armside and it may be what Fast alluded to in our On The Corner podcast – Javier could be feeling a bit of fatigue as he nears 100 innings. It’s possible (he’s at 83 frames now), but he gets the Athletics next and there’s no way I’m avoiding that one. Just throw the dang thing in the zone and you’re good, Cristian.

Zach Logue (OAK) vs DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

This was a simple Blame It On The Tigers. I really don’t dig his whole “90 mph to return plenty of balls in play” approach, so make sure you send Logue a gift for his Birthday Party.

Luis Garcia (HOU) vs NYY (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 92 pitches.

41% CSW on the four-seamer does the trick as the cutter earned enough strikes to make the whole thing work. Garcia is giving me fewer and fewer reasons to bet against him, even if I’m not swooning over his stuff like others. The man is forcing me to keep rising him.

Garrett Hill (DET) @ OAK (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

Blegh. Even against the Athletics, Hill was just one ER and baserunner away from being decent. It wasn’t meant to be and this really isn’t the Hill to die on. It’s the poorer one and I’m already questioning the wealthy Hill.

Carlos Rodón (SF) @ LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

Okay, this isn’t great, but it’s not as bad as it seems. He allowed a solo shot to Freeman and another run deserved to score, but the final three runs? Nah, those came with two outs after Justin Turner hit a “double” that should have been caught but the ball was lost in the lights. He nearly escaped this with solid ratios. Don’t think less of Carlos as he sat 95 mph and hit 97.5 mph in this one with 17 whiffs. He’s still an ace.

Pablo López (MIA) vs TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

Nooooooo. The changeup was still solid, but the heaters are finding their ways to the heart of the plate too often and the Rangers are kinda decent right now. This start push his ERA up 0.28 points to 3.14 and I really hope it shrinks next time out. Just get that fastball command back please. K thx.

Domingo Germán (NYY) @ HOU (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 58 pitches.

Oh my. I didn’t want to start Domingo in the first place, but this was a shell of the man we’d hoped to see. His curveball returned just two whiffs and his changeup + fastball command was all over the place. I won’t count out the possibility of Domingo recovering, but I’m not picking him up in 12-teamers until he shows it. Yes, that means I wouldn’t roster him against the Mets next week.


Game of the Day


Shohei Ohtani vs. Charlie Morton – It’s Shohei and his offense. Morton could feast.

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.

Featured image 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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