Feasting At The Wa-Wacha

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

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

Michael Wacha (BOS) vs NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 89 pitches.

What an incredible performance from Michael Wacha tonight against the Yankees, coming off the IL to not only earn the victory but to do so in dominating style via 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 89 pitches. His changeup earned 10 whiffs as he baffled batters on both sides of the plate, he kept his four-seamer and cutter away, and the man rarely gave in over the plate. He was masterful.

It really made me reconsider Wacha for a moment. Is this real? Can he actually spot his heaters/cutters/changeups like this? Or was it the Yankee offense floundering without Stanton + DJ? This is the most serious I’ve ever been about Wacha all year and with the Orioles on the horizon, I’d say go for it. Let’s see if he can do it again.


Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:


Blake Snell (SD) @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 24 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 103 pitches.

That’s a Gallows Pole from Snell as he inhaled Natty Lite. It wasn’t the breakers that did this, no, it was his four-seamer earning 15 whiffs as it hovered the zone all night. Boy do I love seeing that AND just two changeups. THE MAN HAS LEARNED.

Cristian Javier (HOU) vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Ain’t it wonderful when Javier gets strikes with sliders & fastballs and doesn’t get crushed? Sure, the heater wasn’t elevated enough to get whiffs, but that breaker keeping him in at-bats is a great thing.

Brady Singer (KC) vs LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 102 pitches.

Oh my. I’ve been pretty vocal about labeling Singer as a Cherry Bomb and I sure didn’t expect him to come through like this against the Dodgers. I guess you gotta keep starting the man, huh? That slider was fantastic, but the sinker was at its peak with a rare nine whiff total and 41% CSW. It’s awfully weird watching Singer, to me. The difference between him performing like this and demolishing your ratios isn’t that far off – it’s simply how he navigates an at-bat. Are the pitches going where he intended or is he missing too many spots? It’s what makes it so hard for me to truly buy into him, but hey, you start him against the Rays next and that’s that.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) vs ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Well look at that. After struggling against the Phils, Braxton came through despite Atlanta’s adoration for southpaws. The slider was superb at a 42% CSW and he kept it down, he spotted four-seamers up, sinkers armside, and even mixed in a few effective changeups + curves. It’s too bad he gets the Dodgers next. Such a shame.

Chris Bassitt (NYM) vs PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

That’s three straight shutout outings from Bassitt as he now posts a 3.27 ERA – much more in line with what I felt he was about a month ago. I’m so glad he’s gotten it together and it could mean he gets his AGA label back before the end. Maybe.

Jameson Taillon (NYY) @ BOS (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 93 pitches.

Was this a bad start from Taillon? Absolutely not. A manufactured run on a double and two groundouts in the first + a two-run shot off Devers’ bat is just baseball and otherwise, he did a wonderful job moving around the zone, and I actually dug his slider tonight more than usual. Still room to grow, but this was an encouraging one. Sadly, it’s the Jays next and I wouldn’t chance it unless I was in a QS league.

Drew Rasmussen (TB) vs BAL (W) – 8.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.

If you haven’t heard, Rasmussen was perfect through eight frames and allowed a double to the first batter of the ninth. Sigh. His four-seamer was glorious up-and-armside, his cutter fantastically spotted down and the slider…helpingish. Simply put, this is the best we’ve seen of him and I sure hope he finds that command again. It’s very unlikely and this was a “good day”, of course, but he’s certainly earned your trust against the Royals.

Bryce Elder (ATL) @ MIA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 104 pitches.

What is it with Atlanta calling up their starters over the weekend, performing well, and then not seeing them again for a long time? This is the third such start this weekend and awfully shocking to me from Elder, who has been all kinds of pedestrian during his brief stints this season. I’m inclined to believe this one was more Blame it on the Marlins, though he did an excellent job avoiding the heart of the plate with cutters, sliders, and sinkers. Props to him, but there’s no need to hold him in your 12-teamers – Atlanta has a full rotation and Elder is not the next man up.

Martín Pérez (TEX) vs SEA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

The man cannot be stopped. Well, actually, this was the first sign of it as the changeup was not precisely placed on the armside edge as I’ve seen all season. Hmmmmm. I’ll just say he had a bit of an off night with the pitch (7% CSW?!) and expect redemption against…the Twins. Ohhhh man I’m worried. Please have the slow ball back, you deserve this second chance. But he allowed 1 ER and seven strikeouts! Yeah yeah yeah, nah.

Miles Mikolas (STL) vs MIL (W) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

Coors? What’s that? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Shane Bieber (CLE) @ TOR (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The Jays ain’t no joke and I’m thrilled to tell you Bieber sat 93 mph on his heater today. We’ve come a far way from the 90.6 mph games on April and May. Soooo can you please earn more than 1/9 whiffs on your curveball now that the heater is better? K thx.

Aaron Ashby (MIL) @ STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 79 pitches.

Whoa, Ashby nearly earned a King Cole against the Cardinals, a product of his change finding the zone frequently (albeit, a bit too easily in the middle of the plate at times) + a fair amount of strikes from his breaker. I also dug the sinker finding itself armside frequently as well and I’m cool with this. There’s more room to grow, absolutely, but this’ll work against the Cubs. Sidenote: Grammarly doesn’t accept “this’ll” as a real thing and I have the urge to type it over and over now. Be prepared.

Tucker Davidson (LAA) vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 87 pitches.

Ayyyyy there’s the intriguing arm I was hoping to see when the trade happened at the deadline. Talk about a surprise happening after two struggles + a date with the Twins. His slider was the hero (well, that and some lovely BABIP) and with the Tigers up next, you may have a sneaky stream ahead. He definitely needs to improve the heater locations, though.

Lance Lynn (CWS) vs DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 88 pitches.

That’s 20 whiffs with a 93.6 mph heater and here I am a little disappointed he didn’t do a touch more, you know? Maybe a sub 3.00 ERA so I can truly get excited? Please?!

Alex Wood (SF) vs PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 101 pitches.

He ran into trouble in the fifth, but was otherwise fantastic against the Pirates, boasting 13/54 slider whiffs as he tossed the breaker 53% of the time. Hey, I dig it, the pitch is great right now. Sadly, Wood’s matchups yo-yo between studly and ghastly as he heads to Coors next…followed by the Twins. Do what you must, I’d let him go back to the wire for now.

Logan Gilbert (SEA) @ TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

VPQS as Gilbert had a few nice breakers but needed more to save him from a mediocre outing with his four-seamer. You’re gonna keep starting him, but you know the tale by now.

Tyler Anderson (LAD) @ KC (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

He’s made us so dang thrilled this year and I can’t help but chuckle when he gives us a PQS with a 1.33 WHIP against the Royals. Whatever, keep starting him.

Tommy Henry (ARI) @ COL (W) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.

A young guy who hasn’t gotten his footing pitching didn’t do well in Colorado? Charles, alert the media.

Tyler Alexander (DET) @ CWS (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 97 pitches.

This’ll be one of those blurbs where I try to say something, but what do you want from me? It’s T-Lex, the White Sox are decent against southpaws, and there’s nothing of interest. He’s Alexander The (I Can) Relate.

Chris Archer (MIN) @ LAA (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 65 pitches.

Hey y’all, Archer is Andrew Heaney but not worth the frames he pitches unless you were chasing for a handful of strikeouts on a desperate Sunday. For whatever reason, the Twins are cool with this and for some reason, I’m still typing despite all of you already knowing this. Sorry.

Paolo Espino (WSH) vs SD (L) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 109 pitches.

109 pitches?! Yessssss. Sure sure sure, don’t start him now, but when he actually faces a weak opponent, I’ll look at him in my streaming chart and whisper This’ll be the day I’ve dreamed of. And we’ll all rejoice.

Jordan Lyles (BAL) @ TB (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 87 pitches.

Womp womp. It almost worked as he fanned nine batters(!), but the ratios are too rough and we move on. I don’t think Lyles is a legitimate hold in 12-teamers, despite his stretch since July 1st as that WHIP hurts too much – especially with the Red Sox next.

Keegan Thompson (CHC) @ CIN (ND) – 1.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 70 pitches.

Like the start against the Yankees, Keegan was lost on the bump and somehow was allowed to throw 70 pitches without getting through two frames. Ouch. Next time you ask why I’m low on Thompson, it’s because this is the floor you’re trying to avoid.

Cole Irvin (OAK) @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 13% CSW, 84 pitches.

Awwww, I was hoping The Legend of Irvin would grow, and eventually be a History Channel mini-series that we’d find in a decade or two on a rainy Sunday. Oh! you’d suddenly emit with joy of your discovery. This’ll be good. But then five minutes later, you look perplexed. Honey? What’s a HAISTBMBWT?! I think you’re fine starting him against the Mariners next.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) vs CLE (L) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 98 pitches.

Oh COME ON. Just when I thought we would normalize that BABIP, it strikes again, despite Gausman sitting 96 mph – over a tick higher than normal. I’ll blame his four-seamer locations a bit here as he left them out over the plate more than usual, but still, he deserves better than this. He gets the Yanks next and I’m going for it.

Ryan Feltner (COL) vs ARI (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 78 pitches.

I remember that moment Feltner was kinda interesting. Sigh. Those were the days.

Zach Thompson (PIT) @ SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 90 pitches.

Even with the Giants struggling as an offense, Thompson is still battling himself instead of the batters. Just another Frozen Banana.

Justin Dunn (CIN) vs CHC (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 72 pitches.

Are we there yet? No son, we have another ten months to go.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) @ NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

Ummm hey Wheeler, are you lost? You’re not supposed to be down here. It’s like seeing the Queen hang out in the Lower East Side – you belong up there in the Upper West Side. It wasn’t a velocity issue, it was a…dare I say it…a Mets issue as he poorly located four-seamers and they pounced. Whatareyagonnado.


Game of the Day


Joe Musgrove vs. Sandy Alcantara – Ummmm hey. Can I join you guys?

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.

2 responses to “Feasting At The Wa-Wacha”

  1. Jayson says:

    I honestly think it’s time to remove the AGA label for Gausman or at least to stop labelling him as an Ace when pitching at home. 4.64 ERA and 1.54 WHIP at home this season over 12 starts (58.1 IP) against 1.83 ERA and 1.02 WHIP away over 10 starts (64 IP). By no means I would someone with a 4.50+ ERA and 1.50+ WHIP an Ace.

  2. robert raymond says:

    on the wa-wacha headline, that would be canada goose in leni lenape (wawa). having grown up in the delaware valley not far from wawa dairies headquarters in delaware county, PA (phils territory for the uninitiated), i love today’s roundup graphic design and headline. this is my first year subscribing to the pitchers list. and i love the graphic designs!

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