The Pom Pom Shakedown

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

We see a lot of things during a typical baseball season that surprises us. Walk-off homers, surprising no-hitters, even a bunt for a double if we’re lucky. Drew Pomeranz going 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – in other words, earning 73% of his outs via the way of the K – is up there. Sure, he’s had some good strikeout games this year, but this…I didn’t think we’d see this. But Nick, Pomeranz has been a strikeout guy before! Sure, but we haven’t seen double-digit strikeouts since 2017 and this season has returned a 6.79 ERA thus far with a 4.14 IPS. It’s hard to get eleven strikeouts when you don’t survive for 13 outs. So does Pomeranz deserve a pickup? After all, three of his last four starts have each come with five frames, returning just 2 ER and 23 punchouts. I wish I could endorse this, I really do. His velocity at 92 mph is standard for the year. He threw more cutters but there were mediocre. The only real difference was how effective his heater was, featuring it the second most of any start and sitting a little higher up in the zone. Keep in mind, this is a -6.7 pVal pitch this year. It’s not supposed to work like this, but it did last night for 23/53 CSW and 11 whiffs. Wild, I know. There’s too low of a floor to chase – and that IPS is still stupid low – but I can understand a deep NL-Only favoring Pomeranz over other options. Maybe he’s figured out the heater. Just maybe.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Jon Gray6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. We talked a bit about Gray on the OTC Podcast last night and we’re kinda in this purgatory of Gray providing strikeout help and most likely sitting at a 4.00 ERA when all is said and done. This year, that isn’t so bad, and you have to live with that. You can certainly live with this, too, but this was San Fran on the road, helping him earn 15 whiffs and a co-share of the Gallows Pole. Don’t get used to it.

Brad Keller3.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. A rain delay kicked Keller out of this one, which is all kinds of frustrating for owners who actually took the chance here. Moving forward, I wouldn’t take the chance again as BK is not what you crave.

Jon Lester6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Yep, I’ll definitely take this Lester. No, it wasn’t as overwhelming as the line suggests – 24/94 CSW here – but he really worked the bottom of the zone well as he nipped the low-and-away corner against right-handers endlessly. It’s Lester’s game.

Adam Plutko4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Is this a streaming victory? It can’t really be a loss, right? It only helps. It’s a weak victory, I guess. Streaming Record: 52-31. Stupid rain delay ruining everything.

CC Sabathia6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Here I am saying that CC won’t go six frames with a strikeout per inning again and WHATDOYAKNOW. 34/104 CSW is wild for CC, who was surprisingly up in the zone a good amount in this one. In this sea of disappointments, I don’t blame you for rolling with CC, I don’t really buy that he’s going to be like this often. But hey, it’s the Mets next. Sure, why not.

Lucas Giolito5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s another disappointing outing from Giolito, but it’s also against two tough teams in the Cubs and Sawx. Still, seeing 11 walks across his last three outings is a bit concerning as it’s a product of his lack of strong secondary pitch. His slider + changeup earned just 9/37 CSW and forced him to use too much heat, heat that wasn’t sitting at the top of the zone per usual. I’m not saying it’s a Giolito downfall, but if you’re looking for why Giolito isn’t acting like a Top 15 SP, there’s your reason. He should bounce back next time, even if it’s against the tough Twins lineup.

Zack Greinke6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I realized when making The List that Greinke and Kershaw are pretty much the same pitcher.

Clayton Kershaw6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Sure, Kershaw has four fewer strikeouts this time, but it’s wild to see that the rest is identical. I…Dentical! Glad to see the strikeouts return for Greinke after just five in his previous two (15 whiffs for a co-share of the Gallows Pole), while Kershaw, you gots to step up your game.

Eduardo Rodriguez6.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. We know that Edu is going to bomb a decent amount, but I’m still hurt each time. His cutter wasn’t there and while his changeup was actually located pretty well in this one, it wasn’t enough to take over the game itself. He needs that cutter to get ahead and keep batters honest. 

Zach Eflin5.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Awwww, I’ve been giving Eflin a bit of love after his last two games returned 16 Ks combined and I was hoping that he could still get by without a strong third option. Well, he still can, but he’s more susceptible to outings like these and it’s just going to be a thing you endure. You don’t have a choice, honestly.

Steven Matz4.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Matz was on the road. I hate Home/Road splits unless it’s with a ridiculous extreme and I’ll finally concede this one. This is an extreme.

Aaron Sanchez5.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Sanchez is doing everything he can to showcase why you don’t want a lively fastball as your primary pitch. You want that good ole rising heat paired with secondary filth. That’s what all the cool kids are doing.

Julio Teheran4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Teheran had a 0.81 ERA across eight games. Now including his last two, it’s a 2.91 across ten games. After his next two, it will be a 4.52 ERA. Just a gut feeling.


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.


Tyler Mahle vs. Los Angeles Angels He’s the clear choice as we’ll continue to stream him against middling offenses as long as we can.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Dylan Bundy vs. San Diego Padres – Here we GOOOOOOO.



Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Ariel Jurado vs. Detroit Tigers – I sat down and had zero idea who I could choose with any sort of conviction. I guess it’s Jurado as he faces the Tigers. I guess.


Game of the Day 


Ross Stripling vs. Robbie Ray – Alright, it’s going to be Stripling. I’m rooting for him, I’d let him fly.


(Photo by Tony Quinn/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.

8 responses to “The Pom Pom Shakedown”

  1. Brett Bredemeier says:

    Are both pitchers available in metallic mint green paint?

  2. Michael says:

    Haha I specifically scrolled down just to comment on the reference and see two yutes already have

  3. Bill says:

    Where’s Joey Gallo when you need him?

  4. Salty sailor says:

    Would u swap Boyd for Giollito?

  5. Justin says:

    Striplings only going 5 innings max in the next start. He’s not fully stretched out yet.

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