Top End Bass

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Chris Bassitt vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

On a night that saw So. Many. Disasters, I wanted to give appreciation to a guy who continued being that underrated stud to your team, Chris Bassitt. He was granted another outing against the Rangers and took full advantage via 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks (11 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches), doing his normal thing of sinkers for strikes + a decent mix of four-seamers, cutters, and curveballs to keep batters at bay.

The whole thing adds up to just a 3.04 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP and 25% strikeout rate for Bassitt on the season and it’s wonderful. I don’t quite believe he’s this good and will likely have some stumbles in the second half — I don’t love relying too heavily on sinkers for called strikes & his secondaries aren’t all that amazing — but who cares, you’re gonna let this ride for as long as Bassitt holds your hand. Heck, squeeze back for once.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Wily Peralta @ CLE (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

Say what now. Wily is the only other starter who allowed zero ER?! And was one whiff off the Gallows Pole?! That’s baseball, Suzyn. I hope you enjoyed this Birthday Party on a day of disaster.

Kwang Hyun Kim vs ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Of course Kim threw 96 pitches after an IL stint and 70 pitches in his previous start. It all makes sense now. Wait, no it doesn’t. His slider was excellent, his fastballs snuck into the zone for strikes, and that was enough for the Sneks. He might get the Giants next and it’s too close to danger for me to endorse that one.

Dylan Cease vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 94 pitches.

On one hand, I’m stoked to see Cease earn a Golden Goal (despite tying in both Whiffs and CSW, but who cares) as his slider returned to being the pitch it was for most of the season. On the other, his spin rates have dropped as much as anyone in the league. We’re talking a 300 rpm loss on four-seamers and 240 for his slider and curve. Yikes. It clearly didn’t have a major effect here, though his heater did go 2/39 on whiffs… It’s something to consider and let’s monitor it for next time.

Matt Harvey @ HOU (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.

Look at Harvey, being one of the few to allow under three earned runs today. Does he feel special? I hope he feels special. Just for one day.

Max Fried vs NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 74 pitches.

Easy peasy win here for Fried as Atlanta won by an 18-run margin, and I’m glad he was able to coast for 74 pitches and a King Cole. Not the most impressive one we’ve seen, but hey, it’s an award on his player page now. Seriously, go check it out, we have all the awards on their pages now. Feel confident in Fried once again.

Jon Gray vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 95 pitches.

Hey, something went well today! Streaming Record: 50-38. Phew. Gray still had increased velocity, but 95 mph instead of 96. Still better than the 94 mph pre-injury, and his secondaries did decent work. Now he heads to Arizona and I’m cool holding for that start if you don’t need the stream in between.

Drew Rasmussen @ WSH (ND) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 26 pitches.

This was legit, real-deal, no messing around bullpen stuff from the Rays, so they called the DR. And it hurt. That’s a pretty meh doctor. I know, random person. I know.

Logan Allen vs DET (L) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 71 pitches.

I see Allen and I see a man hoping to be a Toby. Strive for more in your life.

Martín Pérez vs KC (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 86 pitches.

Hey, you have Pérez for the cheap win and that’s exactly what he gave you. Bow down to your dub lord.

Kolby Allard @ OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 91 pitches.

Dralla returned a PQS with a sub-1.00 WHIP, and that’s all fine and dandy to me. The fact that he’s helping at all is kinda cool, even if his cutter spin rate dropped 240 rpm and returned just an 18% CSW. Even if…

Domingo German vs LAA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 72 pitches.

Yeaaah, he’s still not the man we want him to be. The curveball is still great, the rest of the stuff is not. If you haven’t been searching for other options already, please do so now.

Chad Kuhl @ COL (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 82 pitches.

Hey Chad, welcome to Coors. Stay awhile. Or don’t. Let’s be honest, you probably shouldn’t.

Jake Arrieta @ MIL (ND) – 1.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 56 pitches.

It’s a day of disappointment and Arrieta… well it’s been a year. Poor guy.

Justus Sheffield @ TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 95 pitches.

It has been a rough season for Sheffield and facing the Jays is like expecting a Big Mac to be the antidote for a vegetarian. I don’t think that works. YOU DON’T WORK. Oh, and Justus, too, I guess. I hope he can make a tweak somewhere soon.

Luis García vs BAL (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

I don’t know what I’m more surprised about — that García struggled this much against the Orioles, or that just 14 whiffs returned a Gallows Pole. It was a bit odd to see García act like a two-pitch pitcher for most of this via four-seamer/slider, especially when his cutter has been so dang good. It’s his first start of four ER all season and it’s hard to expect this to be more than a blip.

Steven Matz vs SEA (ND) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 48 pitches.

We didn’t know what to expect from Matz in his return for the IL, and seeing the Mariners on the docket may have seduced some of you. It’s incredibly understandable — I put him in the “Questionable” tier, after all. Welp, Baltimore is next and there’s a chance he could go 70-75 there and produce. He’ll be a “Questionable” again.

José Ureña @ CLE (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 58 pitches.

Even with a lovely matchup and the leash to go seven frames, Ureña found a way to get himself out of the game under 60 pitches. Remember kids, If you roster José, Ureña boatload of trouble. 

Cal Quantrill vs DET (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 67 pitches.

I’m just not seeing the stuff here for us to latch onto the man formerly known as So-So Cal. Maybe one day as he’ll likely continue to get chances for Cleveland, and we’ll talk about Nicoderm when that time comes.

Aaron Ashby vs CHC (ND) – 0.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 39 pitches.

Oh no. I think Ash needs a trainer before he can become a master. Maybe one day, he could be the very best serviceable, but not for a bit.

Riley Smith @ STL (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 60 pitches.

Even against the struggling Cards, Smith returned just one strikeout (HAISTFMFWT?!and nothing of note. Unsubscribe from the Riley Samuel Smith feed. Wait, is it actually—No. Maybe. Probably not.

David Peterson @ ATL (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 57 pitches.

This was the start of a 20-run brigade by Atlanta and Peterson, how could you. Nick, no one started him. HOW COULD YOU. There are moments when the slider is rad ‘n’ all (5/17 whiffs here) but yeah, that’s not enough.

Jon Lester vs TB (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

Remember those moments when there was a chance Lester was actually considered as a streamer? Nah. Dude, it was like a week ago. Maybe he’s just forgettable these days. Who? Oh right, Lester. Yeah, guess so.

Bailey Ober @ CWS (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

One day I’ll be able to lead with Bailey and call it “Ober the Hills and Far Away”. One day…

Jordan Holloway @ PHI (ND) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 66 pitches.

Wait his name is Jordan? Are you sure it isn’t Justin? Anyway, there are some elements to like about Holloway’s stuff, like a solid slider & curve + a 95 mph heater, but he’s still working on putting it all together the right way. I’m slightly intrigued if he gets more chances.

Joe Musgrove @ CIN (W) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 85 pitches.

What, no. Wait. Joooooeeeeee! He had just seven ER combined across his previous seven starts, and it’s annoying as anything. No, his spin rates are not dramatically down, this was just a One Night Bland, and fortunately it’s Washington next. That’ll be plenty better.

Mike Minor @ BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 92 pitches.

Womp womp. He sat 90 mph and returned just 1/18 CSW on his changeup. Against the Red Sox. Yeaaaaah.

Vladimir Gutiérrez vs SD (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 72 pitches.

Okay, okay, now that we’re past Atlanta and San Diego, we can have nice things like Kansas City and Milwaukee. Maybe against them, his secondaries can keep their 43% CSW while his four-seamer does better than — checks notes — nine percent CSW. That’s over nearly half his pitches and just isn’t gonna cut it. It’s a hard pill to swallow, starting a guy after this poor of an outing, but he’ll be in the “Questionable” tier for his outing against KCR. It could work, they’re a much easier offense to pitch against than the Friars, just sayin’.

Aaron Nola vs MIA (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 98 pitches.

Wait, what. Nola had 10 strikeouts with just one ER through four frames. I turned away for JUST A MOMENT, and this is what happens. The Marlins somehow exploded for six runs in the fifth, and there goes all of the fun discussion about Nola clearly on the mend. Fortunately, that talk is still obviously relevant — what a weird inning — and I’d buy low wherever I could. I was even thinking “Huh, I wish I bought in while I still could” before the fifth inning started. That frame doesn’t change anything.

Shohei Ohtani @ NYY (ND) – 0.2 IP, 7 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 41 pitches.

Well, this was something. Ohtani avoided the loss thanks to seven runs in the top of the ninth, but he sure did everything he could to earn one. He walked the bases loaded, allowed a sharp single, a fielder’s choice RBI, hitting a batter on an 0-2 pitch, and another walk before the bullpen failed to let him off the hook. It was tough to watch. On this incredibly hot and humid evening, you have to wonder if he simply never got comfortable and if he were able to get a double-play or squeeze out of the inning that he’d settle down in the second. Salvation never appeared, and here we are. This stinks, a lot, but don’t do anything silly.


Game of the Day 


José Berríos vs Carlos Rodón – Rodón sat 95.5 mph last time — still great, but I’d love to see 96/97 mph again. And hey, there’s Berríos hopefully doing great things too.

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: 8:30 am – 11:00 am EST Monday through Friday.

Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/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.

5 responses to “Top End Bass”

  1. Bbboston says:


    Come on man. Face it, even after you laud the start, you neglect to hang the moniker: Bassitt = AGA.

  2. Jayson says:

    How long will we have to wait until Chris Bassitt get the AGA label? I mean just be serious a bit. We already are the 1st July! Bassitt has started enough games and we are into the season deep enough now. Maybe Bassitt will cool off and won’t remain someone who deserves the AGA label, but until now he does deserve it! Since the beginning of the season until now there is absolutely no doubt that Chris Bassitt deserves to get AGA label, especially when we can see some pitchers to fly with it and definitely not as good as he has been.

    Sure, Bassitt is a pitcher without a ton of different pitches and kinda boring, but he’s an Ace this season. At the end of a game you want your pitcher to help your team to win. You don’t care if it’s romantically beautiful or just boringly efficient.
    A starting pitcher must pitch the best he can to help his team to win. It’s what Bassitt has done since the beginning of the season and this even against the offensively most dangerous teams. So please give Bassitt the respect he deserves rather than waiting this moment of the season he will cool off to then be able to say “it was nice, but I told you he wasn’t going to last”… Thanks.

  3. Stan says:

    Would you trade Luis Castillo for Aaron Nola with them both underperforming, but showing signs of turning it around?

  4. Johnny B says:

    Luis Garcia was a victim of awful umpiring in the first inning last night, which drove his pitch count up to the mid 40’s after 1. He cruised through the next 3 innings with little trouble.

    #roboumps can’t get here soon enough!

  5. theKraken says:

    Weird day yesterday. I did watch the first inning of Garcia’s start… I was actually impressed. The pitching coach was ejected after two hitters – that tells you a little something. It was those walks that made the inning into a mess. The “2 run double” was a double-play ball for a HS defense but MLB defenses don’t make much sense more often than not (pulled GB four feet from the foul line, that the 3B didn’t even have a chance at). In between all of the bad stuff he was throwing some nice CH and I liked that he was throwing the slower breaking stuff. It definitely helped the FB play up. It was the Garcia that I have been hoping to see more of.

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