Who Took A Shot On JR?

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Joe Ryan @ CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 86 pitches.

With just under a 20% rostership entering today, Joe Ryan was our streaming pick of the day and I was excited. Sure, he had his last start cut short due to a liner hitting his wrist, but he was grooving against Cleveland and a start against the Cubs seemed like more of the same. I was wrong – it was better: 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 86 pitches. That’s a King Cole with eleven strikeouts and those who took a chance should be thrilled. Streaming Record: 90-72.

His four-seamer was once again fantastic, earned 35% CSW despite just 90/91 mph velocity across 62 thrown, and his slider was a solid mix pitch for 38% CSW on its own. It’s a repertoire that doesn’t speak to a 2022 campaign of pronounced success, but when he’s facing the Cubs, yeah this works. Up ahead are the Tigers and Royals and it could be more of the same. Let the man cook.


Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:


Luis Patiño vs TOR (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 37 pitches.

He tossed just 37 pitches for a mysterious reason and the whole Rays shakeup with Michael Wacha pitching in relief on Tuesday means we went from a strong Patiño start against the Marlins to…this. Womp womp. The Astros are next and that’s a clear NOPE.

Luis Garcia @ LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 79 pitches.

Does it help? Absolutely. Am I breathing in sharply through my teeth looking at just one strikeout? Aggressively. HAISTBMBWT?! The man doesn’t have the slider/cutter of the first half (4/34 whiffs combined here) and he gets the Rays next to close his season. I wouldn’t risk it.

Julian Merryweather @ TB (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 21 pitches.

With Merryweather opening, some considered Ross Stripling as he could get a chance earning the Win in a bulk opportunity. Well he went 1.1 IP with 5 ER. Oh. Welp, see ya later.

Keegan Akin @ PHI (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

Well look at you Akin, surviving a decent Phillies lineup. Enjoy the Birthday PartyI hope you wore a really cool hat.

Ian Anderson @ ARI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 97 pitches.

Yessss. The curveball wasn’t the king it was two starts ago, but the changeup was filthy, earning 11/37 whiffs and making Mr. Anderson soar. This was the best I’ve seen him command his slow ball in a very long time. Fastball? Not so much. Curveball? Yeah, not great. But clearly, if he has just that changeup doing great things, he’ll do just fine.

Zack Wheeler vs BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The slider wasn’t great, but the curveball sure was at 53% CSW. That’s. What’s. Up. He’s definitively Top 10 for next year and I’d be surprised if you felt differently.

Chris Flexen @ OAK (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 100 pitches.

Even against a tougher team in Oakland, Flexen continued his Vargas Rulethis time cruising with a 36% CSW four-seamer. He’s the Dereck Rodriguez of 2021 in that you won’t draft him favorably next year despite this year’s success, but who cares. Flexen gets the Athletics a second time and after a performance like this and the roll he’s on, it’s hard to say no.

Scott Kazmir @ SD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 71 pitches.

It’s pretty dang cool seeing Kazmir not only pitch, but pitch effectively for 12 outs. Who cares about fantasy, you didn’t trust him anyway. Appreciate the moment.

Miles Mikolas @ MIL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Sure, this was a Grave Mistake n whatnot but this is classic Mikolas. He sat 93/94 mph, threw effective sliders, and even mixed in 8/18 curveballs for called strikes. The Brewers are a tough crew and I’m glad 8-Miles pulled it off here, though I’d be cautious to test it a second time next week. 18/21 outs in the field is a bit questionable.

Chris Sale vs NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

Hey Sale, love the strikeouts (8x more than last start!) but can you not get Singled Out again? That’s two starts of a poor WHIP and it’s getting a bit annoying. Cool, good talk.

Brett Anderson vs STL (L) – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 49 pitches.

Yikes. I wonder if a start like this paves the way for Aaron Ashby to get one start in. That would be lovely…

Josiah Gray @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 100 pitches.

FINALLY. I’m thrilled to see Josiah figure it out before the season ended, returning a Golden Goal against the worst offense in baseball. 12/29 whiffs on the slider got the job done and while it was the perfect fastball command, he tossed a ton of competitive strikes, and sometimes, that’s all you need. The bad news: Now that we feel more confident in his ability, Josiah gets…Coors + Boston. Welp, see y’all next year. He’ll be rostered on many of my teams.

Vince Velasquez vs SF (L) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 37 pitches.

Essentially a bullpen game here with Ryan Weathers following for just 35 pitches. And despite tossing just one inning VV earned as many strikeouts as Luis Garcia + Taijuan Walker combined. Who had that on their bingo cards? SALLY, STOP, NO YOU DIDN’T.

Cole Irvin vs SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

A 2.00 WHIP and poor ERA? Yeah, not the Toby play you wanted from Irvin. He gets a second shot next week and that’s still considerable – there’s a chance it works – but the risk is apparent. I mean, it’s right there above these words.

Taylor Hearn @ NYY (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

Hearn is a Toby and this isn’t the start you want him for. He’ll get the Angels next, though, and that could work. See? This is easy.

Corey Kluber vs TEX (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 84 pitches.

Blegh. Kluber had his fantastic cutter working last time out and I thought he’d have it again versus the Rangers. How could I be so foolish. The pitch went just 19% CSW, leaving his curveball looking like John Travolta and wondering where the rest of his arsenal went. Now it’s the Jays + Rays and despite the teams, you won’t get A’s. He’ll give you F’s. Wow, F’s? No respect. But leave F to pay resp–NICK.

Janson Junk vs HOU (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 58 pitches.

Despite the name, Señor Junk doesn’t have the filth to earn more than one strikeout (HAISTBMBWT?!and that’s a bummer. What a joyous day it could be if Junk became a household name. So joyous.

Kyle Hendricks vs MIN (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 72 pitches.

This doesn’t do a whole lot. I really don’t think you should be chasing Hendricks anymore – the ceiling isn’t there and you’re just laying on the floor, wondering how you got here.

Elieser Hernandez vs WSH (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 78 pitches.

Wow. Eleiser earned 48% CSW on his slider…and allowed a pair of longballs on the pitch. He would have had a King Cole if he were able to earn three more outs and he really deserved a better outcome against the Nationals. Baseball, you sly devil. He hasn’t hit six frames in ages, but I can see Elieser going five strong against the Mets next week if he has this stuff. You should be fine with that.

Germán Márquez vs LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

Womp womp. The Dodgers are no joke and it’s, you know, Coors. The dang thing is undefeated, if you haven’t heard. He does host the Nationals next time out and that has a decent chance of working out, but he still doesn’t have his primo curve and slider. It’s not a must-hold by any John means.

Walker Buehler @ COL (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

Aces gonna…slip at the finish line. His heater nor cutter failed to earn a single whiff and things just didn’t go his way. It’s not the production you expect from WB. Looney, you could say.

Taijuan Walker @ BOS (L) – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 55 pitches.

Yikes. He sat 94/95 mph and the Red Sox didn’t care. At least he gets Miami next and that should be plenty better. Yay.

Merrill Kelly vs ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 90 pitches.

Seven strikeouts ain’t the worst, but there was no need to put Kelly in harm’s way here against a solid Atlanta offense. He’ll get the Giants to close out his season and you’re better off chasing other options instead.


Game of the Day 


Logan Webb vs. Yu Darvish I almost spelled it Logan Weeb and that’s just how I feel these days.

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.

Photo by Frank Jansky/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.

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