We Didn’t Start The Fiers

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

(Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire)

I’m sorry for using the overly abused headline but it’s a bit more pertinent today as Mike Fiers went 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks in his first start in an Oakland uniform. I was a little down on the move from Detroit, which may sound weird but Fiers had one of the easiest schedules out there taken from him when he became an Athletic. This one was against the Dodgers and I wasn’t much of a fan of it – bad headline here we come – and he killed it with 29/78 CSW (37%!). He did a great job of elevating with his four seamer, while using sliders to get strikes (10/19 SNIP). I’m still a little cautious of the schedule – SEA, TEX, @MIN, SEA, NYY next – but I think you keep rolling with it as it’s a Vargas Rule. Don’t overthink it.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Jaime Barria5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Hey, Barria is showing his upside again! 30/92 CSW as his slider + changeup went 14/50 on whiffs (28%!). Too bad I have to say Blame it on the Tigers but at least we can have some confidence streaming him if the matchups line up.

Patrick Corbin7.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace as Corbin earned 19 whiffs and a share of the Gallows Pole. 91mph Fastball as well is good to see and 39/103 CSW is luscious. Just luscious.

Jacob deGrom6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. HE GOT A WIN Y’ALL. He’s my NL Cy Young if the vote was held today.

Heath Fillmyer7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Heath fits more as the guy to FillMyer gas tank, not FillMyer roster spot.

Andrew Cashner7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Sure, whatever Cashner. You’re not getting my Bud Light.

Mike Clevinger7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I don’t think Clev gets enough appreciation as he’s quietly given you a super solid year of 3.38 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 24% K rate this season. That 12% walk rate that had everyone scared out of their minds? Lowered to 7.7%. Dude is a legit #2/3 Sp for your team.

Mike Foltynewicz5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Folty hasn’t been cruising like he did for the first three months and it’s nice to see him roll with 7 Ks against the Nationals. Not a great WHIP, but I’m certainly happy with this outing.

John Gant6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Welcome, children. Welcome to the ceiling of House Gant.

Jake Odorizzi4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. It’s a bit shocking to see a pitcher have six baserunners and zero strikeouts yeah tally 101 pitches without escaping the fifth, BUT HERE WE ARE. He got the Indians so I have some sympathy, but I’m not loving Odorizzi all too much these days. 

Chris Archer5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Okay, so this is an improvement from his four-walk performance last time, but we need a lot more than this from Archer. *Suit man whispers in my ear* Ohhhh Coors? Yeah alright, we can move on then.

Yovani Gallardo6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. This is so boring that I would rather spend an hour shopping for a YoGa mat. Just so I could wear dirty shoes and walk all over it. You’re a monster. That’s what YoGa turns me into.

Clayton Kershaw6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. This looks grea–What. ONE STRIKEOUT?! I have to give Kershaw a HAISTFMFWT?! I am so confused right now. Only four whiffs on the day, just 2 on 51 sliders + curveballs. I DON’T GET THIS. He really hung his slider up in the zone in this one, with only a pair of curveballs landing at the bottom of the zone or slightly under it. There’s a part of me that truly believes he’s the greatest pitcher on the planet when he’s healthy, but there’s another part that wonders if we’ll ever see Kershaw at his peak again. It’s a small part, okay? I’m just freaking out a little despite a start that only helped you. He’s the TATIAGA, after all.

Ryne Stanek2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. False Start here as Jalen Beeks came in for five strong after. Nothing special here to make me consider him any differently from Ryan Yarbroughbut good on ya kid.

Jhoulys Chacin6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. A PQS with 3 Ks? Sure Chacin, we’ll take it. Afterall, Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.

German Marquez6.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Impressive outing from Marquez despite the VVVVPQS as he earned a co-share of the Gallows Pole with 19 whiffs, tallying 10 strikeouts and an immaculate inning along the win inside Coors. That was a stupid long sentence. YOU’RE A STUPID LONG SENTENCE. He’s feeling his curveball recently, bumping its usage to near 30% in his last three starts after hovering 20% prior and it’s working. Fix that heater though, Marquez, it’ll hurt a lot in Coors. I’m okay rolling with this for now, but keep a very short leash.

Trevor Richards5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. This is a close one. One more out = PQS, but it’s essentially a 1.00 WHIP with 7 Ks and a 4.50 ERA…without a win. I’m taking it, let me know in the comments if you think I don’t deserve it. Streaming Record: 69-38. For that actual performance itself, great to see 40% changeups again, especially with 33% whiffs as well. 34 CSW overall and I like that he’s using a slider now instead of that horrid curveball. The man knows it’s bad and is trying something new. If it develops into a solid strike getting pitch…this could get interesting.

Luis Severino7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna almost fully redeem himself. 8:0 K per BB is gorgeous and a 1.00 WHIP is fantastic, but 3 ER against the ChiSox? Come on man. We want to love you again and you stressed us out so much in that opening frame. Just let us love you for real.

Robert Stephenson4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. Stephenson returned for a hot moment and issued walks like they were baked goods at closing time. That has always been the issue for Bobby and if you’re hunting for treasure, don’t head to this island.

Mike Hauschild2.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. Leave it to the Cup of Schmos to produce a standard HAISTFMFWT?! on a given day. Yeah, MIKE. You tell him.

Vince Velasquez4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. So VV didn’t have his secondary stuff working – shocker – and the Diamondbacks didn’t let him get by with just his heater. Sadly, this floor will not go away for a while.

Blaine Hardy5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. No Blaine, no pain.

Brian Johnson7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s a long way to the top if you’re going to roster Brian. 

Jose Quintana6.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Awww Quintana, you were on a roll because your heater had improved, but now your curveball and changeup just weren’t the same here. At least the fastball is still solid and there’s a chance for a rebound but I have to dock you points now. I hate docking points. You know my yacht is named Points, right? Yeah, and getting that settled in is the worst experience ever. YOU TAKE THAT BACK. NEVER.

Brett Kennedy4.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I’m sorry Brett, I don’t trust people with two first names. Make up your mind! Yes, this is a Cup of Schmo. I can see a couple starts where his fastball command is good and his slider dots the outside corner for a good amount of Ks. Good luck trying to get that roulette wheel spin right.

Lucas Giolito5.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. I like that the ChiSox let Giolito fly after allowing a grand slam in the second frame, already serving up 6 ER as it doesn’t matter y’all. You’re the ChiSox. His fastball was up to 93.5mph – great! – earned 7/24 whiffs on his changeup – nice! – and trusted his slider for strikes – sweet! This is surprisingly encouraging for the longterm outlook. No it doesn’t mean start him moving forward, it means Giolito is still taking steps forward on his long set of stairs. And I mean looonng set of stairs.

Marco Gonzales5.0 IP, 7 ER, 12 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Marco earned one whiff here against the Rangers, leaving plenty of cutters up in the zone and never finding himself in a groove. Just listen to Funkytown before pitching next time, yeesh. It’s a massive wave of regression, but I don’t think it’s the beginning of the end. If he does the same thing next time…well maybe we can start talking.

Tommy Milone6.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Milone Schmilone. If only every team he faced were the Mets…

Today’s Streamer

Ivan Nova vs. San Francisco Giants – If you look at the slate, you’ll understand that I have no choice.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jose Urena vs. New York Mets – It’s between Urena and Austin Gomber vs. Kansas City Royals and I’ll bet against the Mets offense + Urena’s propensity to go a little deeper into games. Derek Holland vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – I originally thought this was happening on Saturday, but it looks like he’s going Friday and is still owned in under 20% of leagues. Works for me.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Dan Straily vs. New York Mets – It’s the Mets and there is some upside in the Straily tank. Yes, I’m scared too.

Game of the Day

James Paxton vs. Justin Verlander – So many fun games! Ross Stripling coming back (but it’s Coors), Jose Berrios vs. Corey Kluber because duh, but in the end, I love watching both Pax and Verlander pitch and this should be a fantastic duel.

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.

16 responses to “We Didn’t Start The Fiers”

  1. dragnalus says:

    you reposted yesterday’s Game of the Day. I’m guessing today’s should be Paxton vs Verlander

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ah, I did! Thanks for catching that.

      Just updated it, Paxton vs. Verlander is correct. Should be fun!

  2. Ryan says:

    Are you starting Stripling back from the DL in Coors today?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Nope! DLH + Coors.

      • AC says:

        Nick, what if you also have Paxton going – does that temper the overall risk enough that’d you’d consider using Stripling? Only asking bc I could use the Ks and Ws – things are tight in ratios, so it’s probably a bad idea in that sense.

  3. Alex says:

    Tough question:

    Double start German Marquez (@ HOU, @ ATL) or double start Reynaldo Lopez (@ DET, KC) for week 21, round 1 of h2h playoffs?? Better matchups for Lopez (obviously) but Marquez has been rolling lately and has two away starts.

    Cant wait to hear what you think.
    Thanks Nick!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I hate both…

      Marquez for strikeout upside, ReyLo for a safer ratio floor.

      • Alex says:

        I hate both too but not starting a one start Quintana in the playoffs and I lost McCullers. No other option sadly…. :( Trying to talk myself into “liking” one for next week.

        Appreciate the response

  4. Loving AJ's Familia says:

    Nothing but PRAISE here Nick! I can’t get enough of your solid information and clever quips! You’re like the Escobar with Smoak, I get the Muncys every time I read you. Nothing but Flaherty here for you. ;)

  5. Mike Trout says:

    Just wanted to point out that this is only Kershaw’s 2nd start ever without more than 1 strikeout (and he’s never had none). Truly strange to see.

  6. Jeremy says:

    That Fiers schedule sans NYY looks fantastic to me. SEA has been an abysmal offensive team for over a month now.

  7. Glenn says:

    What about Happ’s DLH at home against Texas?

  8. James says:

    Any guess as to Houston’s 5th starter? Peacock or McHugh? Immediate add?

  9. Nonpartisan says:

    I think you should refer to Hang as “John of Gant,” like John of Gaunt, the 14th-century British nobleman and prince regent. Sure it’s nerdy, but which of your nicknames aren’t?

  10. Morgan Cross says:

    I was watching Kershaw last night, it actually felt very similar to watching Cueto before he went down for Tommy John. His velocity was down, his location was all over the place (super surprised with 0 BB) and he was visibly angry with himself, frequently yelling after a pitch was thrown. Something is up with him.

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