The Comical Nature of DC

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.  

Dylan Cease vs NYY (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 90 pitches.

There’s not a whole for me to say about Dylan Cease tonight after he went 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 90 pitches against the Yankees. that’s eleven strikeouts and a Gallows PoleIt’s also a 2.00 WHIP and a 13.50 ERA. Cease found a way to record 11/12 outs via the way of the K. And made your team suffer. THAT’S BASEBALL SUZYN.

I’ve called Cease the premium Cherry Bomb often and at first glance, this seems like the best example you could hope for. A man destined to rotate between excellence and disaster through a season. And yet, I think this was just sheer poor luck. His command wasn’t atrocious — sure he made some mistakes, but it wasn’t 6 ER worth of mistakes and hot dang, TWENTY WHIFFS! 40% CSW! His volatility is rooted more in not being able to throw strikes and highly erratic heaters and breakers. This wasn’t that, and ya’ll know I’d be the first to remind you if it were.

So let’s be happy you were able to salvage eleven strikeouts on a night with terrible ratios, and keep starting Cease because hot dang he’s been great. Dylan has not Ceased to amaze.


Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:


Taijuan Walker @ WSH (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 85 pitches.

So Walker was up to 94/95 mph again (YES!) but he earned just six whiffs and only one strikeout — HAISTBMBWT?! Are you confident in a guy who goes 20/21 outs in the field? He’s the anti-Cease and it should bother you. WHY AREN’T YOU MORE BOTHERED. While it’s possible he goes on a roll akin to his first half of 2021, I think you’re going to struggle to make sense of it through the year and it won’t be a fun time. You deserve a fun time.

Connor Overton @ PIT (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 91 pitches.

The 2,001 pounder did it again, here with four walks and one strikeout. You’re going to hear me say this a lot today but HAISTBMBWT?! Stare at it all you want, he won’t change into someone you actually want to roster.

Luis Garcia @ MIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

His heater went back up to 95 mph again and the cutter had 10 whiffs with a 45% CSW. THAT’S the Garcia I’ve wanted to see. What about the slider? Yeah, that ain’t coming back — give me the increased velocity fastball and his old cutter and I’ll take that as a fantastic compromise. Enjoy the King Coleeven if it’s on the lower side.

Taylor Hearn vs KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 64 pitches.

Look at Taylor go! It’s a Birthday Party as there’s nothing to get excited about save for the survival at hand, but let’s be happy Taylor found a peak after living in the Hearn gully.

Bryan Baker @ STL (ND) – 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 31 pitches.

JT has some competition with this new Baker in town, but this one sounds more like an Americanized version of Hansel and Gretel. Please, will someone protect our Bryans?! Is this your way of skirting past a bullpen game? Sure is, random person. Sure is.

Zack Wheeler @ LAD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

He returned from the COVID-IL and pitched way better than I expected – he sat 96.7 mph (SWEET) and last 90 pitches despite the long layover. Maybe the extra rest helped…? Regardless of why, this was against the strong Dodgers crew and he looked pretty dang good. The Phillies bullpen ruined his Win because duh, and the 3 ER felt more like a shrug than a laborious man (Belli HR, unfortunate hits, etc.) and I’d feel pretty dang swell about Wheeler moving forward. Gotta get that AGA back.

Jon Heasley @ TEX (L) – 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

He sat 93/94 mph as he featured more changeups than heaters and while the slowball is solid, his nerves got in the way of everything. It’s hard for me to really discern anything here and I’d wait until he proves it for 12-teamers. This isn’t the next big deal you need to get ahead of.

Beau Brieske vs OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 93 pitches.

I really don’t think there’s a whole lot here and while I’m glad he took advantage of a date with the Athletics, you really shouldn’t trust this. Make sure you wake me up before you go Beau moving forward.

James Kaprielian @ DET (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 75 pitches.

You’re gonna look at this and think it’s awfully boring, but it is…serviceable in a deeper league and maybe some 12-teamers. But just one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! I think he’s a Toby and there’s nothing wrong with that.

JT Brubaker vs CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 77 pitches.

Coffee Cakes was the reluctant streamer of the day and I guess it worked. Sure ain’t pretty but this doesn’t hurt and that’s A-OK from a sub 20% waiver wire SP pick. Roll the dice a second time if you want as he faces the Cubs next time — the slider was still present as always.

Steven Matz vs BAL (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 101 pitches.

That’s a Dusty Donut with that poor ERA and a Loss, but whatever, you’re happy after last week’s 8 ER atrocity. He’ll get the Mets and Pirates up next and I think you let him roll for both.

Joan Adon vs NYM (L) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 84 pitches.

He’s a Frozen Banana and we ain’t making frozen smoothies today.

Josh Winder vs HOU (L) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 77 pitches.

Yikes. Winder was a tough call here as he performed so well last time out, but was dealt a tough hand against the Astros. His slider and changeup were both solid, though, and it would be unwise to cut bait with Oakland. I’m starting him there.

Luis Gil @ CWS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

Gil has a wonderful heater that sits 97 mph and earned 11/49 whiffs here. Sadly, he doesn’t have it reined in (56% strikes), while the slider was all over the place. There’s talent in here if he finds a way to get consistent, but it means I’m not trusting him when he gets more chances later this year. You could say his Luis’ command is his Achilles Gil.

Tyler Anderson vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.

Tyler is a Toby who faced a strong offense in the Phillies. This really shouldn’t be much of a surprise. He gets the Diamondbacks next and I’m on board with that.


Game of the Day 

Corbin Burnes vs. Pablo López – Two absolute studs dueling? Yes please.

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 Frank Jansky/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.

3 responses to “The Comical Nature of DC”

  1. Ross says:

    This Luis Garcia thing is just fascinating to me. And it’s more than just the slider disappearing. He’s also decreased (though not as drastically) his use of his change (18.5% swinging strike rate, 29% CSW last year) and curve (34.5% CSW last year). Like if he lost the feel for his slider or something, why not throw those more? The curve is fantastic called strike pitch. And also, he’s in like the best org I can think of for optimizing pitch mix. This all just makes no sense to me. But it’s working kind of, so I guess whatever? Just so weird haha!

  2. Bob nasser says:

    Achilles Gil? Ugh – groan

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