Trist Issues

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

Triston McKenzie vs KC (L) – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 74 pitches.

Triston McKenzie was on a roll. He failed to allow more than 1 ER in any of his last five starts, averaging over 6.0 frames per outing and collecting 39 strikeouts. But then the Royals wanted their revenge. 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 74 pitches was the result of today’s massacre and after such a long high, we’re left in the ashes on our knees, looking up to the sky to ask What Happened?!

His fastball got knocked around at the top of the zone is what happened. It’s the risk/reward we play with when featuring elevated heaters and if batters are able to keep their focus on the upper third and lock into heaters, they can take advantage of them. McKenzie failed to execute a proper BSB as too many breakers floated up in the zone, allowing Royals bats to get comfortable, and that’s all there is to it. Do I think this has broken Triston? Not at all. It wasn’t his best outing but he’ll likely rebound in the future. Against the White Sox next time out? Okay, that’s a little tougher but I can see it happening if you’re desperate over the weekend. The Rangers after that? Absolutely.


Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:


John Means @ PHI (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 105 pitches.

There go John. The heater was a low 92.1 mph (the lowest I’ve seen in ages from him) but the changeup earned outs and the curveball got strikes. It’s not the best version of Means I’ve been hoping to see and while it’s good enough for the Rangers next, I’d be very hesitant to trust him against the Jays to end the year.

Framber Valdez @ LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

And here I was wondering if he would be fine after getting his start pushed back + if his sinker would be good enough to excel. The heater was so good, in fact, he threw it over two-thirds of the time and earned a ton of outs on it. Those balls in play could find more gloves against the Athletics to end the year and I would wager that one of those final two starts will make you a bit uneasy. Still worth it to let him fly for both, though.

Tyler Anderson @ OAK (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

This Spider-Man can’t be stopped, even sapping the power of his opponent Sean Manaea to produce the line he should have had. He’s the silent league winner across September and should keep it going against the Angels next. Atta boy, Tyler. Atta boy.

Joel Payamps @ CLE (ND) – 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 33 pitches.

After changing who would start this game constantly, it was ultimately a bullpen game. Yay. 

Nick Wittgren vs KC (L) – 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 30 pitches.

Cleveland saw the Royals turn to their pen and thought “WE CAN DO THAT BETTER!” Narrator: They could not.

Carlos Rodón @ DET (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 69 pitches.

Rodón left this one after three after tossing a heater under 90 mph. Yeah, he’s not going to pitch again this season. Sigh. It’s been a wild ride, Carlos. Thanks for all the fun.

Shane Baz vs TOR (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 65 pitches.

I’m sure some of you expected me to lead with Baz but I’m doing a Pitcher Video Breakdown of him tomorrow, discussing all 65 pitches thrown in his debut. In the meantime, know he has legit stuff with an upper 90s heater and a legit wipeout slider + a curveball that earned 70% strikes. That’s everything you want in a prospect. He’s still going to be limited against the Astros next week as I imagine it’s a six-man rotation for the Rays (I bet roughly five innings again) and that’s not a play I’d chase, but I can see myself going for if I was hurting for starts.

Ranger Suárez vs BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

The man keeps on cruising. I’m shocked at what we saw here as Suárez went 0/19 CSW on his changeup, forcing him to unleash 19 sliders…which returned 42% CSW. Incredible. When you’re on, you find a way to make it work. Enjoy PIT + @MIA to end the season.

Brady Singer @ CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

Singer came back from the IL and promptly dominated against Cleveland, earning 35% CSW on his sinker and going all seven frames with ease. He gets the Tigers next and it’s hard to say no to that.

Jon Lester @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 77 pitches.

The mad man continues! His four-seamer was stupid good here at 48% CSW while the rest found gloves in play, allowing him to go six frames in just 77 pitches. It had the makings of a Grave Mistake but he gets the Cubs twice now and hey, that could work.

Erick Fedde @ MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 96 pitches.

Yep, that works. Streaming Record: 88-72. I have to go 12-for-13 to hit the magical 100 Wins for the season. No. Problem. Anyway, Don’t Trust The Feddes*. *Unless he pitches against a team that rhymes with Darlins.

Jaime Barria vs HOU (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.

He got Singled Out and managed to allow just two runs at the end of the day. Props to him for that, and I could see a scenario trusting Barria in one of his final starts against the Mariners. There isn’t a whole lot of upside to chase, though, so don’t go too crazy about it.

Huascar Ynoa @ ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 75 pitches.

Ouch. This wasn’t Ynoa’s start with just 3/33 slider whiffs and only 11% CSW on his heater. It happens. Still start him against the Padres and Mets to end the year.

Robbie Ray @ TB (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 97 pitches.

Just when Ray needed you most, he labored against the Rays with plenty of tough at-bats and failing to get into a proper groove against the Rays. He should recover in his second start over the weekend, but this hurts.

Freddy Peralta vs STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 96 pitches.

That’s a Golden Goal for Freddy despite earning a PQSmaking this a Dusty Donut as I cram as many terms as I possibly can into one blurb. It’s a bit frustrating to have such dominance paired with poor ratios and I feel y’all.

Néstor Cortes Jr.  vs TEX (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.

Womp womp. He struck out the side in the first and cruised through the first four before a rough fifth knocked him out of the game. The cutter wasn’t as good as we’ve seen it and I’d be careful against the Sawx next. It could still work out, but be careful.

Matt Manning vs CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ohhhhhh so this is the Manning everyone has been talking about on Twitter tonight! Huh. He doesn’t seem all that great.

Dillon Peters @ CIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 64 pitches.

If only Peters faced the Marlins over the weekend instead of the Reds in Cincy. The Phillies aren’t weak enough to trust this if for some reason you were holding on.

A.J. Alexy @ NYY (L) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 83 pitches.

Six walks and one strikeout – HAISTBMBWT?! – and while he is better than this, of course, this floor is making you open the door, look inside, and nope out of there like Grandpa Simpson.

Sean Manaea vs SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 86 pitches.

Remember when I was hyped about 93/94 mph velocity from Manaea? Welp, he’s back down to 91.1 mph. No wonder it went terribly. I recognize the velocity can jump and fall between starts and it doesn’t mean he’s doomed for the Astros next but…he certainly feels doomed for that start against the Astros.

Vladimir Gutiérrez vs PIT (ND) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 56 pitches.

The fastball was bad, again, and that’s all there is to it. It’s so sad that such a lovely schedule is squandered like this.

Jesús Luzardo vs WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 91 pitches.

Ugh. The changeup wasn’t nearly as good and his curveball didn’t earn enough strikes, forcing Luzardo to thrown 45% fastballs and we don’t want that. At all. The secret to Luzardo is a heavy strike rate on changeups and curveballs and we’ll be crossing our fingers he can pull it off in 2022. Wait, he has two starts left! Yeah, against the Rays and Phillies. I don’t want it, maaaaaybe the Phils if he’s truly exceptional against the Rays.

Humberto Mejía vs ATL (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

There isn’t enough there for us to expect much different against Atlanta. Sorry, Humberto.


Game of the Day 


Alek Manoah vs. Drew Rasmussen – I want to see Manoah dominate again + Rasmussen could pull off another five innings of glory and wow us all.

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 EST Monday through Friday.

Photos by 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.

One response to “Trist Issues”

  1. dude says:

    I’m looking ahead to 2022 in a keeper league. Verlander is a FA in our league and wondering if he’s worth stashing? Assuming he looks ok next year in spring training, how high do you think he might be ranked? If nothing else, he might be decent trade bait.

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