Thrill of the Hill

If there is one type of pitcher that we can all hate with a passion, it’s the ones that give you headaches. Just be good or bad, not this dotting...

If there is one type of pitcher that we can all hate with a passion, it’s the ones that give you headaches. Just be good or bad, not this dotting man who can’t make up his mind. The man on top of this list is Rich Hill who was a former oft-injured ace has turned into a “throw your hands in the air because this is killing my soul” player in 2017. However, after allowing 7 ER, Hill has been impressive in three straight starts now, concluding with a 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks against the Padres last night. So he’s back! Yeaaaaaah kinda? There’s no way we’re done with the injury history and he pitched against the Mets, Angels and the Padres last night to get his 26 Ks in three outings…but then he’s allowed more than 2 ER just three times in 11 starts – 3 ER, 5 ER, 7 ER – so it’s not like he’s been terrible as you chase his upside. But the seven walk and four walk games! True, he is holding a 4.83 BB/9 because of this and he hadn’t gone past five frames until these last two outings of 7 innings. So there it all is. Is Hill still a headache? Yes, yes he is. Is he one that you need to just take aspirin and endure it? Unfortunately, yes, especially after two 7 inning outings with 18 Ks between them and now with Kansas City is his sights. Not to mention the easy second half ready to go for the Dodgers where they don’t face a tough team til the later half of August. You don’t really have a choice.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Ricky Nolasco – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Oh come on Nolasco. 15.1 straight shutout innings now against the Dodgers and Mariners. This won’t end well. This is that friend of yours that demands to have a bridal shower, bachelorette party, and her wedding three weeks in a row. Come on Nolasco, do you really need that much attention?

Chris Sale – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He’s averaging 9.76 Ks per start. PER START.

Gio Gonzalez – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Dang, that’s 25 strikeouts over his last three starts – more than Kyle Gibson has had all year! Ha ha ha. He’s been named as the easiest “sell high” guy around by yours truly and many others – I mean, a 2.77 ERA and 4.17 FIP and 4.30 xFIP! – and I don’t see that changing here. His xStats don’t tell a different story with near the same bbFIP and scFIP that sometimes can make us reconsider the peripherals. Sell this dude.

Michael Wacha – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Well look at you Wacha, I didn’t like you for your two-start week against the Reds and Nats and you showed up in a big way. You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn. I mean, I think I can to some degree, but not this. A season high strikeout game against the Nationals? When you hadn’t fanned more than five in ten games?! It’s good to see him having more trust with his Changeup again – FB/CH is his bread and butter – but I’m not ready to fully dive in with Wacha.

Carlos Carrasco – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. My man.

Zack Greinke – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. And this was hosting the Rockies in Coors Lite!

Cole Hamels – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Good to see Hamels look like his 2015 self again and here’s to hoping he can keep it up against the Angels. He should, but as we’ve said before, being able to take advantage of good matchups is a major step to gaining your trust.

Chad Kuhl – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Kuhl story, bro. Yep, that’s all you get.

Anibal Sanchez – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Nope, not going to do it Anibal. If you give me a third start that is solid I’ll maybe look into this more, but for now it’s not worth my time.

R.A. Dickey – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Dickey told me his 2 ER over the last three starts was super impressive because of the “tough teams” he’s faced. Yeah, the A’s, Brewers, and Giants are sooo tough. Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer.

Francis Martes – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. The Astros rotation is almost on the same level as the Dodgers’ situation with way too many arms with some being intriguing upside plays on the outskirts, injuries playing a major factor, etc. Now that David Paulino is suspended because of PEDs, Martes climbs one rung higher, but don’t forget that both Paulino and Martes were heading out anyway with Keuchel/Morton returning shortly. Then there’s McHugh as well…and this is forgetting the fact that Martes isn’t this good. No thanks, bucko.

Matt Moore – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 5 Ks. Oh Moore, six walks and just 1 ER. How are we supposed to feel good about this?

Zack Wheeler – 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. He was pulled in the fourth due to his own error that allowed the inning to spiral out of control and rack up his pitch count. I’m not loving Wheeler as a flier and I question when we’ll see him take that leap we want him to make. That command just isn’t good enough and it hasn’t ever really been.

Sam Gaviglio – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Nothing like owning a 3.48 ERA and 5.40 K/9 that is lower than your 5.69 FIP. Jeeeeez. Hey that rhymes with TEEs! If it rhymes, you know it’s true!

Jackson Stephens – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks.  There were double headers galore yesterday with more injuries because of SPOIL’D and all, which means a lot of new names are showing up today. You see a guy with 8 Ks in that list and think “hmmmm”. Yeah, just “hmmmm”. Curveball is a solid hook, Changeup is blegh, and his Fastball has decent velocity but command was…meh. This isn’t a Lamet or a Castillo or a Faria, etc. I think he’s going to have his struggles – especially if he sticks around and heads to Coors next – and he’s not my favorite flier around.

Paul Blackburn – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Blackburn is another and he’s a definitive Cup of Schmo. Move along.

Zach Davies – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Let it go guys. Let it freakin’ go. Ohhh you’re doing that urban Frozen musical, right? You know it, our other hits include “Let’s build a yellow snowman” and “Love is a back door”. Did you have to look up Frozen song tiles just for this joke? Shhhhhhh.

Jordan Montgomery – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. The Bear couldn’t last the full six against the Astros, and while I want a little more Ks and under 3 ER, the Astros are the Astros and it doesn’t change my love for the man.

Jordan Zimmermann – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Even with the whole revamped Slider thing, this wasn’t a good move against the Indians. 12-teamers, still no need to invest in him.

Jake Odorizzi – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Another day, another boring Odorizzi start. If you own Odorizzi, really consider why. It might be fine for you, but give it some good good thinking.

Jeremy Hellickson – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I wonder if Hellickson will become someone we care about again. At least he’s stopped from toying with us so much, what a guy.

Derek Holland – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. The Dutch Invasion is endless outside of various coffee breaks. It brings an air of humanity to such a barbaric act, you know?

Felix Jorge – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Jorge isn’t the savoir you’re looking for. That might be Luis CastilloJorge is just a Cup of Schmo. Sidenote: I am writing this blurb drinking out of a Cup of Schmo mug because it’s finally happening. Check back in later this week.

Tyler Chatwood – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. The days of owning Chatwood are behind us…and ahead of us. Kinda. The Rockies have a much better second half schedule than you’d think and I’m sure you’ll see him get the streamer call a bit in August. Until then, take a back seat y’all.

Francisco Liriano – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Ahhhh, there’s the extreme Liriano we’re a bit more familiar with. You know, if Biagini were stringing along some good starts, I would have cared about this a bit more. But nooooooo Biagini has been so blegh that he’s all but removed from the rotation. I thought this was about Liriano. WHATEVER.

Dylan Bundy – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. The Ks have showed up twice in a row now, but he’s still not pitching like someone with good stuff, ya feel? I think we’re at the point of dropping him is acceptable, though keep in mind the chance that he has a successful second half.

Eddie Butler – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Are we expecting anything else these days from Butler?

Josh Tomlin – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Nor Tomlin for that matter. Definitely not Tomlin.

Jose Berrios – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This looks bad. Like really bad. What happened was the Berrios allowed three HRs that accounted for 4 ER across the 4th and 5th. Dang. Is that everything? Kinda? I don’t think Berrios was pitching nearly as poorly as the line looks. So it goes.

Tom Koehler – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Nothing like throwing 59 pitches in under two innings, errors can do that to you (four extra unearned runs here) as Koehler made his way back to Miami. This is the equivalent of seeing the guy you buy your cheap Friday night wine from passing by on the street. “Oh, hey.” And we carry on. No, don’t think if he’s judging you for getting that $9 bottle, that might guilt you into spending more time with him and BAM you regret your evening. You’re taking this too far. It’s what cheap wine does to me.

Dillon Overton – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I’m just so happy Overton got more time in the rotation.

Luke Farrell – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. The most interesting part about this is that Luke’s dad, Red Sox manager John Farrell, missed Boston’s game to attend his son’s MLB debut. Ned Yost’s quote is fantastic “Some things are just more important than a baseball game — even though this is a baseball game.” Oh Yost, never change. Farrell, please change because this is making you act like a Cup of Schmo – sip – and no one wants that. But is he? Oh, yeah. Definitely.

Jason Hammel – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Please stop starting Hammel. You’re being the Nail and not the Hammel.

Today’s Streamer

Nick Pivetta vs. New York Mets He’s expressed the strikeout upside and he gets an easy team this time around. I’d also consider Mike Clevinger against the Tigers, especially if I’m looking for a Win.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Alex Meyer vs. Minnesota Twins – If he gets at least 7 Ks without a terrible ERA/WHIP, that’s a dub here.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Joe Ross vs. New York Mets – I guess we’re doing this coin flip? Ho boy.

Game of the Day

Carlos Martinez vs. Max Scherzer Watch CarMart have more Ks. I’m feeling it.

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 “Thrill of the Hill”

  1. eugene purdy says:

    Teheran’s home/away ERA splits are significant. He lost the last two at home to SF and MIL badly so if there is something to this he should ace it at Oakland today.

  2. [admin] says:

    Berrios drives me nuts. It’s like 95% of his pitches are pure sex and the other 5% are hit over the fence by Alcides frickin Escobar.

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