You’re My Masahiro

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t spent much time discussing Masahiro Tanaka this season.  He’s been much of a question mark as many believe TJS is inevitable given...

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t spent much time discussing Masahiro Tanaka this season.  He’s been much of a question mark as many believe TJS is inevitable given his elbow issues last season.  Those who insulted the medical reports and drafted him this year have been met with…okay results.  His K-BB% is a solid 17.6%, but he’s provided a shaky 3.73 ERA due to an inability to limit the longballs (16.9% HR/FB).  However, he came through when needed most last night with a line of 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks, a line reminiscent of his 2014 days.  I don’t think this is the start of an incredible September, but I think Masahiro is easily inside the Top 25 and has been somewhat underrated as he bumps his way through the season.  There will be more of the same risks next year, but recognize the spoils if your bet plays out well.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Francisco Liriano – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks.  There it is!  I’ve been waiting for Liriano to finally come back to the party after losing his groove for so long.  Don’t hesitate to strut it out the rest of the season now.

Clayton Kershaw – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks.  Aces gonna ace.  It’s odd how he’s so clearly #1 once again despite not the front-runner for the Cy-Young.  Stupid sexy Greinke!

Colin Rea – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks.  Huh.  I burned my best Rea joke last time out and now he somehow did well again.  Fo Rea?!

Aaron Nola – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks.  Our Call Boy had one last hurrah as he shut down the Braves, and while there is a small chance he gets another outing, you may want to ditch him anyway as he would face the Cubs.  Just end on a high note and everything is cool.

Carlos Rodon – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. So this is the grand upside of Rodon who features a BB/9 well over 4.50 per 9 across 20+ starts.  It’s certainly tantalizing, but I see him as another version of Yordano Ventura who can put on quite a show, yet fail to recognize the importance of restricting free passes.  Glad you got a solid coin flip for those who started him, and those who didn’t need to learn how to flip coins better.

Sonny Gray – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks.  Aces gonna ace.

Jon Gray – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks.  Gray has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team.  This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter.  Well, Gray has some value outside of Coors.  I can’t just ignore that for the sake of running this joke all year.  He’s still not my favorite play, but he can do things like this when he gets a good matchup away from Colorado – like this one in San Diego.

Jordan Zimmermann – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks.  Here’s some prime JZ like “Hard-Knock Life” type shiz.

Tim Hudson – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. He’s nearing the end of his days in the MLB, and this could be the last start we seeing from Hudson.  It’s been a fun ride fella.

R.A. Dickey – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks.  Dickey once told me his dog could talk.  I didn’t believe him so he asked Rex “What does sandpaper feel like?”  RUFF!  Don’t trust a knuckleballer.

Edinson Volquez – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks.  Volquez is so neutral that he has citizenship in Switzerland.

Henry Owens – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks.  Blegh.  But this sounds like Owens.  Sigh.

Ryan Weber – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks.  Weber was called in to replace Matt Wisler for a spot start, which makes this fella a Cup of Schmo.  It happens kid.

Kyle Gibson – 8.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I know some of you went with Gibson because Hey!  Two starts this week!  Sometimes there’s more than just getting those double starts, like actually being a good pitcher.  Just saying.

Kevin Gausman – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks.  This is better from Gaus, but I still don’t believe in ya.  BUT YOU GOTTA BELIEVE!  Oh man, now I’m having Ghostwriter flashbacks.  Please tell me someone understands this reference.  It’ll all be worth it for just that one person.

Jason Hammel – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhhh I’m ready to be all Gung-Ho Kang about Hammel again, but this isn’t really doing it for me.  I know it was against the Cards, but still.

Matt Boyd – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, The Boyd isn’t the word anymore.  Sidenote:  It never was :(

Erasmo Ramirez – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks.  I have no idea how Erasmo accumulated 9 Ks, and I suggest you forget it ever happened.  I can see Ramirez now:  No guys, I swear!  I really did strike out nine batters!  Did anyone see you do it?  …No…

Cole Hamels – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks.  I’m sure Texas is super glad they got Hamels now.  I guess at that matters is for the playoff bound Rangers – can’t believe I typed that – have their Game 1 ace, but you sure don’t even have a Round 1 ace here.

Scott Kazmir – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Come on Kaz we need you now.  It’s playoff time n stuff.

Adam Conley – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks.  I don’t trust the 7 strikeouts, but I do trust the 2.50+ WHIP.

Andrew Heaney – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks.  A bit shocked at the Ks and walks, and this start smells flukey all over.  Is it because you went fishing in Sheepshead Bay again?  No…But for real I don’t like Heaney all too much moving forward.

Carlos Carrasco – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks.  Well this is awkward.  Okay, so he just needed to get his feet wet and accidentally fell into the pool.  By next time out he’ll be doing kick flips don’t you worry.

Raisel Iglesias – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. It was about time the Raisel train slowed down a bit, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Iglesias gets demoted to the pen after this or his next start.  Don’t forget this floor come 2016…

Matt Harvey – 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks.  A little-league Grand Slam will do that to you, even though he should still have at least 5 ER tacked on in his name.  Maybe we should stop worrying about the innings limit and more about actually doing well.  Just a thought.

Chase Anderson – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks.  Yeah, chase what matters…not Chase.

Taijuan Walker – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks.  He’s a Cherry Bomb who’s done a lot more bombing than cherrying lately.  Yes that’s a word, DEAL WITH IT.

Michael Wacha – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks.  And my dislike for Wacha continues.  When you’re banking on ERA/WHIP to carry you, there are no Ks around to salvage when they go down.

Taylor Jungmann – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks.  The Marlins manufactured runs with timely hitting and a freakin’ “inside-the-park-HR” which doesn’t exist if you have competent outfielders.  (to be fair, it did hit off the center field wall which was a blast.)  At the end of the day though, Jungmann didn’t really have his stuff today and you gotta hope that he can rebound against the Pirates next time out.

Today’s Streamers

Josh Tomlin vs. Chicago White Sox – Tomlin has been on fire and the ChiSox are an average offense.  My kind of matchup.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Derek Holland vs. Seattle Mariners – He’s on a decent roll and a start in SafeCo is as safe as they come.

Game of the Day

Stephen Strasburg vs. Jacob deGrom – There’s an iota of hope still left in Washington despite enduring two tough losses to the Mets, and Strasburg is back to show people what’s up.  The Hair is also in attendance so those who don’t even care about the playoff hunt can enjoy good pitchers pitching good.  Well.  Thanks random pedant, I see you don’t appreciate very slightly witty attempts at palindromes.

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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