Stepping On Our Blue Swade Shoes

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Tuesday's games.

I don’t do this. Ever. But I’m going to lead with Wade Miley for his second start in a row after last night’s 0.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks nightmare because it’s straight-up dumb. I watched every pitch he threw in this one, and I couldn’t help but feel bad for Miley. You see lines like that and you think, “Man, he was hurling meatballs.” Nope. Not a single extra-base hit, all singles. Singles that found the hole vacated by shifts, singles that fell in front of outfielders, singles that squeezed through the middle, as Miley really didn’t pitch poorly. He wasn’t particularly sharp, but holding a BABIP of .875 is pretty ridiculous. Come on Nick, this is twice in a row now! He’s clearly hurt or tipping pitches. And that’s the thing. I could so easily just say “well duh, drop him” but I don’t see this on the same level as arms with decreased velocity allowing taters left and right. I don’t think he’s hurt. He could be tipping pitches, but this seemed more like horrid luck than flat-out demolition. But let’s look at it this way. If you drop him and he does well on Sunday against the Royals, you wouldn’t nearly be as upset as holding and he bombs for the third time. I know he’s going to be dropped across leagues everywhere now, but if it’s Sunday and you’re pressed for an option, yes, I’d consider Miley. Search your heart, you know it to be true. Miley isn’t close to as bad as these two days have been.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Johnny Cueto5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Cueto came back in what was a clear DLH in my book and impressed. He threw about two ticks harder than his TJS year of 2018 (back to the marks we saw in 2016 and 2017) and had some solid changeups sprinkled in there as well. He was limited to just 69 pitches – as expected, on the dot, of course – and now with the Red Sox ahead, that’s a no for me. However, hosting the Rockies after should be a good option, and if you want to hold for that, by all means. I’m not sure it’ll be worth the wait, though.

Jose Berrios7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Great to see Berrios perform well despite a tough night hosting the Nats. His curveball was great for 10/23 CSW and 17 strikes, while his fastball and changeup found the edges often. I’ll take this all day from Berrios, and with Cleveland next on Sunday + KCR and DET after, we’re still very much in.

Walker Buehler7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces Gonna Ace. All he needed was that little extra rest, clearly. He’s up to 166.1 frames this season, and we all expected about 180. Two to three starts are left, and we got exactly what we wanted from Buehler. Whoa, something actually worked out this year.

Zach Plesac9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Hot dang, Plesac! After allowing 10 ER in two starts, you tried to nullifying your recent 9.00 ERA with this gorgeous evening in LA. It’s a bit easier to do that without Mike Trout in the lineup as Plesac stayed in the zone a ton here, forcing the Angels to punish him. Spoiler alert: They didn’t. 32/114 CSW is meh, but 80/114 strikes is great. Now set for the Tigers, it’s hard not to hold on and hope he earns your trust for the Phillies after.

Chi Chi Gonzalez6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Chi Chi pulled off Coors, and we’re all going to forget in one day, if even that. The CCG ain’t meant to be.

Lance Lynn7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Ayyyy, Lynn is still making it work, here against the Raaayyyyyys. Now it’s two starts against the Aaayyyyyy’s. I’m all for those plaaayyyys. Fonz, GET OUT OF MY ARTICLE.

Justus Sheffield6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. That WHIP hurts, but it’s good to see Sheff work around baserunners and produce against the Reds. Now with the ChiSox and Orioles ahead, he’ll be a popular pickup, and that’s fine with me. His changeup showed up here for 7/14 CSW, while sliders earned strikes and his fastball sat 93/94. Works for me, I’m crossing my fingers that command sticks.

Zack Wheeler7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. 32/104 CSW with 8/28 whiffs on sliders that he located well down and away. Not under the zone but in the bottom half, and I’ll take that from Wheeler, all day. 8/16 CSW on curveballs is also a welcome surprise and paired with 97 mph, there’s your stud line above. Man, it’s nice to see what happens when he actually puts it together for a day. Problem is, he gets the Dodgers next, so he better feel those breakers again for it to work. Still risky, sadly.

Chase Anderson4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It seems like the Brewers rotation as a whole simply doesn’t go deep into games. It’s annoying because it’s the second game in a row where a decent stream was pulled early against the Marlins and now you have to have hesitation for Zach Davies tonight. I personally would look elsewhere.

Trevor Bauer6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. It’s nice that Bauer could remind us of the upside he possesses (Gallows Pole!) and it’s weird to see his slider still struggling to keep up. Cutters and four-seamers dominated here – fastballs up, cutters down – and it’s all wonderful to me, but without that extra indication of him truly turning it around. It’s still a coin-flip for the Diamondbacks next.

Nestor Cortes2.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It was a bullpen game for the Yanks, and the Tigers got the Bestor of Nestor. Are you serious. What, you Detestor like Sunday Lestor? Don’t do this, make it stop. Don’t let this Festor, let’s go to the Nextor. THANK YOU.

Anibal Sanchez7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I wasn’t starting Anibal against the Twins, but I am happy to see him succeed … even if it was on the back on a bit of luck. Tons of outs from high cutters that make me a little uneasy, though his splitter was looking good. It’s the Braves next, and I’m still sitting out.

Jason Vargas3.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Nothing says Nope like a 3.00 WHIP from Vargas. This is not the JV you’re looking for …

Michael Wacha4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s four innings of mediocrity. That’s actually OK for Coors, bad for your fantasy team.

Nathan Eovaldi4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey, he threw 91 pitches! And didn’t last the fifth! I was hoping for more here from Eovaldi, but at the very least, we should feel confident against the Giants next and likely the Rays/Orioles after as well.

Zac Gallen6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. I am absolutely in love with Gallen. 29/88 CSW (33%) as curveballs and changeups were elegantly placed right under the strike zone while featuring good (not great) fastballs at 93 mph – and he still has room to grow with his slider/cutter! In other words, I feel Gallen is only going to get better and still excel in the short term for you. Yes I’m drafting him everywhere in 2020, even his mechanics make me happy as he drives straight to the plate. Easy pick as your SP No. 3/4.

Elieser Hernandez5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Not a strong performance from his repertoire with just 23/86 CSW and plenty of hung changeups and sliders. He’s not sharp at the moment, but he may be worth the roll of the die against the Giants in Oracle Park next week.

Ivan Nova5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. You streamed Nova, and it worked out for the most part. You got your win, a good WHIP, and five strikeouts, even if it cost you a blegh ERA. Onward to the Mariners! And Tigers twice!

Ryan Yarbrough7.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Great stuff from The Fratty Pirate as he was served a lovely date with the Rangers. Please continue this against the Angels over the weekend. We all need you to come through for us on Sunday.

T.J. Zeuch4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. I can’t get over how TJ-Z still sounds like how we will repair UCL tears in 100 years. That’s the value you bring me, Zeuch. The power of imagination.

Jose Quintana3.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Just 57 pitches thrown here as the Cubs pulled him early, seeing how ineffective he was on the hill. We’ve gone through all the emotions multiple times this season with Quintana, and as of now, I’m stilling starting him against the Pirates.

Ronald Bolaños5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. I truly don’t hate Ronald’s stuff – 31/101 CSW after all! – but his command is dreadful. Curveballs will miss bats and his heater goes up to 98 mph, but it’s just way too inconsistent pitch to pitch. More than Dinelson Lamet. I’d pass here until he gets those mechanics in check.

Max Fried5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Awwwww, Fried got off to a horrible start with three HRs and 4 ER in the first frame but then dominated in the four innings after (save for the fourth HR of the night). Those first-inning longballs? All on different pitches – Ffstball up (actually a good pitch!), first pitch curveball (hung), first-pitch slider (missed inside) – and I’m oddly not discouraged by this. A four-homer night including an inside-the-parker with 25/79 CSW is a bit Cherry-Bombish, but I think I’m still rolling with him. It’s close against the Nats next, but if you’re looking to stream instead of Sunday, I’d go with Fried.

Jake Junis5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. His breaker went just 9/37 CSW and I need more against the White Sox if I’m going to be rolling with Junis against Houston. And Minnesota. And Minnesota again. Yep, PACK IT BOYS.

Mitch Keller5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. It was a terrible first frame, but he did settle in somewhat nicely for the next four frames. Still, those ratios hurt you, and it’s a clear loss. Streaming Record: 94-60. He’s a Cherry Bomb alright, and while I want to be excited for next season, his volatility mixed with the Pirates organization doesn’t encourage me to be bullish. It’s too bad, really.

Tanner Roark5.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh, but it was the Astros and you still got a win because of some dude named Wade. The Royals are likely next (still six-man, right), but even if he gets the Rangers, that’s cool too.

Ty Blach2.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Blach. Even against the Pirates, it’s a Bad Ty event.

Edwin Jackson2.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. More like Edloss, amiright? These jokes get worse every article. Probably.

Jose Suarez3.0 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. You don’t want the Jose again. Or ever. Yeah, never.


Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.


Reynaldo Lopez vs. Kansas City Royals – An easy choice after his feel for his slider last time out, even without the velocity. And hey, maybe the velocity comes back?


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Tyler Mahle vs. Seattle Mariners – Don’t forget, this is an arm that hovers a 25% strikeout rate.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Sandy Alcantara vs. San Francisco Giants – He looked good against the Royals and with two-seamers inside + sliders and changeups for strikes, Sandy could cruise in Oracle Park.


Game of the Day


Matthew Boyd vs. Domingo German – Yes, it’s technically CC, but it’s really Boyd vs. German and that should be a fun battle to watch.

(Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

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.

4 responses to “Stepping On Our Blue Swade Shoes”

  1. Jim says:

    Both look like juicy matchups, and both are on somewhat of a roll, but who do you trust more for that coveted QS? Bassitt @TEX or Happ @DET? Ty!

  2. Dude at Dudes says:

    Whats the confidence level in Boyd today on a 1-5 scale? What about Pultko as a streamer today and R. Hill tomorrow?

  3. larry says:

    Looking ahead a couple of days do you like Lamet vs CHC and Darvich or I can go Gio @ MIA or Mahle @ Sea.


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