Mulled Whine

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.  

Kyle Muller (ATL) @ MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 73 pitches.

Saturday was a day of interesting 2022 debuts from a pair of southpaws, and despite them both going back to the minors after, I wanted to talk about one of them in Kyle Muller as he produced via 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 73 pitches against the Marlins. I remember being excited about his MLB debut last year, seeing a solid heater mixed with two plus breaking pitches. What I saw in this one was…kinda the same.

His four-seamer has cut action on it, and there were times he was able to spot, other times not. The secondaries have work to be done with locations, but I love the break of his curve and slider, and the change has depth to it. He just has to nail down the feel for each and execute when he needs to – a good example was the Jesús Aguilar at-bat that allowed the two-run shot. He spiked too many pitches before the hung slider was sent over the left field wall. It’s not always the mistake pitch itself that is at fault.

I’d love to see Muller get more time on the bump and develop, but it’s not in the cards at the moment. Max Fried should return this week and Jake Odorizzi holds the #5 spot in the rotation. With Ian Anderson seemingly beneath Muller, if another spot opens up in the near future, you could see Muller return before September arrives. I’d be curious if he did, but there’s a fair amount of risk here as he’s not quite dominant yet.


Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:


Logan Webb (SF) vs PIT (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The changeup and slider were phenomenal, with the slow ball earning 11/44 whiffs and the slider going 45% CSW. That’s an even 3.00 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP for Webb and I’m stoked to see it.

Zac Gallen (ARI) @ COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches.

NOT EVEN COORS CAN STOP HIM. I’m so glad to see it – Twitch chat was mentioning his career marks in Coors have been solid (dating back to 2019) and I didn’t buy it. I buy his secondary command at the bottom of the zone, though, and that fastball is still one of the best called-strike offerings around, returning a 25% clip once again. Now with Coors out of the way, he’ll get the Giants next and we can confidently start him there.

Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

Whoa, he performed far better than I expected, even if it was the Athletics. Sure, four walks and just seven whiffs, but six frames of 0 ER is a lovely sight for a 2022 debut. He got his curveball over the plate constantly (save for a handful of ones that were as wild as spelling wild wyld. IT’S GONE TOO FAR) and his slider was consistently spotted armside and you love to see that. The sinker and change are still a work in progress, though, and that curve wasn’t landing under the zone like we’ve seen in the past for whiffs. Still, a great first day back on the bump, and at 81 pitches, I’m cool with him against Atlanta on Friday.

Jacob deGrom (NYM) vs PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 76 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a King Cole because he is so unbelievably good. Imagine when he’s allowed to go past 80 pitches y’all.

Dylan Bundy (MIN) @ LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 65 pitches.

Guess what! Just 23% slider usage with a HAISTBMBWT?! as any hope I had of Bundy being something has faded again! Why are you excited? I’m not! This is how I cope!

Adam Wainwright (STL) vs MIL (ND) – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 109 pitches.

Okay okay okay, I’ll raise Waino on The List this week. I feel like there can only be one overperforming stud on the Cardinals at one time and as Mikolas has fallen, Wainwright hath risen. That curve was so dang good with 42% CSW across 41% usage. He should prosper against the Sneks next.

Aaron Nola (PHI) @ NYM (L) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

That’s a complete game loss for Nola as he was unfortunate enough to face deGOAT. 23 called strikes is why CSW exists, y’all.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) @ STL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s why he’s #2, ya’ll. Stupid deGrom…

Mitch White (TOR) vs CLE (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 82 pitches.

White’s job was to try to go five frames without lighting up the scoreboard. Good job White, you still have a hittable heater, but hey, you made it. Mostly.

Tommy Nance (MIA) vs ATL (L) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 56 pitches.

Nancey Eaton over here starting this bullpen game as he was activated from the IL and 8/56 whiffs is a cool thing. Atta boy, Tommy.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) @ TOR (L) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 101 pitches.

After demolishing the Astros, I’m glad McKenzie continued to benefit managers, even if it came with just three strikeouts. Surviving is what matters most and he certainly did that against a very good offense. I hope he’s okay avoiding the teasing from Cal Quantrill after his Friday performance, though. As for Triston’s performance, I can’t give much praise to his command, though the four-seamer control was solid as he stayed inside the zone. Just not nailing the edges like we want him to. I’m going to have a hard time ranking him this off-season as I don’t feel great about McKenzie’s command, but his stuff is clearly carrying him along. It’s weird.

Ian Anderson (ATL) @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 101 pitches.

Ayyyy 17 whiffs! His changeup location was pristine at the bottom of the zone, while his four-seamer found the zone and returned a 64% strike rate. I’ll take that All. Day. H*ck, even his curve returned a 37% CSW…even though at a sub 50% strike rate. I’m doubtful he’s suddenly clicked and this command can be expected, but even if I did, it’s back to the minors for real without a doubleheader during the week ahead, and I wonder if Kyle Muller is ahead of him for the next open spot. We’ll see, no need to hold Anderson for now.

Shane McClanahan (TB) vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 100 pitches.

Okay so this started off pretty poorly, but his velocity did come back up a bit, though he sat just 95.5 mph for the start as we’re used to 95-98. His slider and changeup woke up, though, leading to the way toward a Gallows Pole as McShane is navigating his first true rough patch of the year. He has two cushy matchups next against KCR and LAA, which should let him do what he needs to do to get back on track. There’s a thought it’s fatigue-related given his ~120 frames last year & now sitting ~135 for the year. It could be, though the man has to get his stamina at some point and there’s often a second wind.

Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Hey, we’ll take this from Crawford against the Yanks. The eponymous pitch performed well, with kutters returning 34% CSW and six whiffs, while the curveball did well with 67% strikes. Still don’t love trusting him on the regular, though, and I’d be a bit uncomfortable trusting him against the Orioles next week.

Reid Detmers (LAA) vs MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 96 pitches.

Detmers was given a challenge and produced a 40%+ CSW on both his slider and four-seamer. If you haven’t fallen head over heels for Detmers yet I don’t know what you’re waiting for. The dude is turning into a stud right before our eyes. I hate that I didn’t see the slider whiffs during his return from the minors and gave you any hesitation to not pick him up after his first few starts back. Sigh.

Frankie Montas (NYY) @ BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

Okay, much better. Yankee fans can exhale a little as Montas had a solid splitter and found the zone with heaters, though his slider/cutter wasn’t a factor with just six thrown. That has to change. And so does tossing just 78 pitches – I know he had his shoulder injury and hasn’t been fully stretched out yet, and I wonder if he’ll stay around 80 pitches for the foreseeable future or he’ll get pushed to 90+ again soon. One can only hope.

Adrian Sampson (CHC) @ CIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 87 pitches.

Womp womp. I still dig the pitch separation he can showcase and he did spot sliders well, but it wasn’t enough. So it goes, he’s a desperate play against the Orioles next.

Tyler Beede (PIT) @ SF (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 74 pitches.

Awwww. His heater was down to 95 and change, while the curve wasn’t nearly as good. The changeup had its moments, but it’s not nearly the same eyebrow raise I had last week. This is a stupid 1% every two years raise that doesn’t feel like a raise at all.

Andrew Heaney (LAD) @ KC (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 60 pitches.

Heaney left this one early with a contusion after taking a 107 mph EV liner off his arm from the bat of Bobby Witt Jr. He finished the inning and is apparently good to make his next start, but you hate to see it. I’d still start him against Milwaukee. His four-seamers were insane today with solid breakers as well. I’m loving his command right now.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs CHC (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 102 pitches.

Ayyy it worked! Barely! That’s a near VPQS for Ashcraft, the minimum requirement for a streaming victory as he returned a sub 20% CSW on both his cutter and sinker. Yikes. At least he gets the Pirates next, and even though this was the Cubs, you have to think that’s better…right?

Aníbal Sánchez (WSH) vs SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

Unlike Darvish, Aníbal didn’t fan nine batters and we have nothing to salvage here. Can’t say that’s much of a shock, though. Time is undefeated.

Dane Dunning (TEX) vs SEA (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.

Blegh. I was hoping to see Candy Dane, but we were served Pain Dunning instead. He’s not the worst play against the Athletics next as the changeup and sinker were solid offerings here.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

Blegh. Come on Giolito, it’s the Tigers. Sure, you gave us seven strikeouts, but those ratios are horrendous. And what’s crazier, I actually LOVE your command from today: high heaters, low changeups (not low enough, but close), low sliders, and a lot of strikes. You even sat 93.5 mph and are seemingly on the right track. Stop getting Singled Outokay? I’m awfully tempted to still start him against the Astros given this better command, but that’s a tough call given his recent performance.

José Ureña (COL) vs ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 94 pitches.

Remember kids, If you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble.

Yu Darvish (SD) @ WSH (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna disappoint despite facing Natty Lite. Remember y’all, Darvish’s ratios are independent of the team he faces. To be fair, all four came in the sixth and seventh, making for a Careful, Icarus, but it’s still frustrating to see. Cool to see nine strikeouts, though. Thanks for that.

Matt Manning (DET) @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.

Gasp. Oh wait. Sorry, I thought I was reading the Darvish line. Carry on.

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

The trap was executed as Luzardo sat just 95 mph, tossed only six four-seamers, and his curveball returned 22% CSW. That said, his changeup is as good as ever with yet another successful outing at 10/28 whiffs and 43% CSW. If only that velocity + curve could return to their April form…He gets the Dodgers next and that’s not a start I’d let Luzardo loose for.

Marco Gonzales (SEA) @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 72 pitches.

Ouch. At least he gets the Athletics next and that should be better. Should be better. That’s a 4.18 ERA for the season by the way, and honestly, that sounds about right.

DL Hall (BAL) @ TB (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 76 pitches.

The stuff is cool – 95 mph heaters, a variety of sliders, changeups, and curves – but the command is not and that low whiff total is a product of Hall not knowing where any of it was going, preventing him from surgically debilitating batters. Now he heads back to the minors as a reliever and he’ll be stretched out next year as a starter. I’m intrigued as a late-round flier, but I wouldn’t invest too heavily from first glance. He’s been known as a stuff-first, command-second guy and I think it’ll take time to get molded into a proper starter. Still better than Gore…We’ll see.

Zach Logue (OAK) @ HOU (L) – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 107 pitches.

He had that one good start early in the year and that’s about it. At least the changeup was decent again…?

Brad Keller (KC) vs LAD (L) – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 74 pitches.

This was an easy one to skip, like that first question of a test that you didn’t study for. I’ll come back to that one.


Game of the Day 


Shane Bieber vs. Kevin Gausman – I’ll take the over on 14.5 strikeouts combined.

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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