The Book On Lame(n)t
During the All-Star break, many penned Dinelson Lamet as a guy could break out in the second half. I didn’t. I didn’t like his overall approach and saw him as a HR prone guy with a great Slider but lacking Fastball/Changeup command. In those five games, he’s had starts of 5 ER, 2, 2, 0, and now this of 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks and I’m sure you’re thinking “gee, Nick, that’s looking kinda solid to me, especially when he’s averaging six Ks per start!” Yeah, you’re not wrong. The thing is, he’s had a really good schedule. That first start of 5 ER was in Coors, with the recent four against the Giants, Pirates twice, and now Reds who have been terrible in their last 30 days. I think I know where this is going. So let’s look at his schedule the rest of the way. Phils, Nats, Marlins, Dodgers, Cardinals, Coors-Lite (Arizona), Coors, Rockies, Dodgers. Ouch, that’s really terrible. I’d say the Phils and Cardinals are the only starts I’m game for, maybe the Marlins and Rockies in PetCo. That’s it. Now, I’m aware that he’s been throwing more Sliders in his last seven games, but he’s had multiple 5 ER games in that stretch and I’m not buying that being a pure two-pitch pitcher is the answer here. He can’t run away from that poor Fastball command and lack of third option against good teams.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Jacob deGrom – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Welp, I guess I need to put deGrom about Greinke now…But deGrom left the game early when he got hit on the arm by a comebacker! Meh, he’s supposed to be back on Tuesday. He’ll be fiiiine.
Marco Estrada – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. You know, this is the third straight start where Estrada has gone seven frames and is averaging 6 Ks in those starts…Who did pitch against? ChiSox, Astros, Yankees. Has he stopped throwing that horrendous Cutter? Um, yeah. That’s exactly what he’s done. Sign…me…up…?
Wade Miley – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Miley, what are you doing. It’s like you’re in a polka band now. Don’t. It doesn’t suit you. Does it suit anyone? I think I know some people…
Tyler Skaggs – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. In his second start back, Skaggs got into a groove as he faced the Mariners. Essentially just Fastball/Curve here (only five Changeups), which doesn’t make me too on high just yet. I need to see a proper three pitch mix for me to believe he can be a consistent guy like a Toby.
Dietrich Enns – 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. The Twins made Enns meet the rest of the team today as he made his first MLB start. Which came to an Enns when he walked in a run in the third inning. Unfortunately, the Enns won’t justify the means is you roster him as he’s just a Cup of Schmo. You done yet? That Dep-Enns. Oh lord, you’re not going to stop are you. Nope, get rich or Dietriching. Please.
Brad Peacock – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I think we can all be happy that A) Peacock got another start and B) it went well. It’s not the AWWW YEAH we’ve had in the past, but so much better than that atrocity last week. Thank you so much Chicago.
Danny Salazar – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Oh snap! This is retro Salazar. Like retro get that club bumping its disco night retro. A 2.00+ WHIP! But with 8 Ks! But it’s under six frames! And you’re okay with this ERA! Why are we so enthusiastic? IT’S RETRO NIGHT BABY. There is something oddly satisfying about Salazar looking like himself again. It was kinda weird for him to look like a total stud before and while I’m not saying you should do anything different than what we talked about last time, seeing things go according to plan is…soothing. Maybe Nolan was on to something in The Dark Knight…Anyway, to tie this up, Salazar earned the Gallows Pole with 21 whiffs here, because duh.
Blake Snell – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I feel like I should call Snell Duncan after he’s being treated like a Yo-Yo, dancing back and forth from Triple-A and the bigs. Anyway, he finally did something productive fantasy wise, going at least six frames for the third time in 15 starts this season. Yeesh. No, nothing’s changed here, don’t you dare put yourself in that kind of danger.
Yu Darvish – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. You just had to throw 106 pitches through five, didn’t you Yu?
Sonny Gray – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeah, I’ll take this from Sonny. The WHIP isn’t great but I’m cool with this.
Jason Hammel – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. So it’s not a Quality Start, but hot dang, 7 Ks from Hammel and a gorgeous WHIP? I still think Hammel should be reserved for deeper 12-teamers and maybe this was the Cards talking, but I’m a bit impressed here.
Lance Lynn – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. Lynn has been the topic of plenty of discussion and this start doesn’t really do much either way. ERA is still low, but a near 2.00 WHIP with just 3 Ks does little to inspire confidence. Then of course there’s the whole “getting hit in the head with a 105mph liner and staying in the game” situation, which is oddly poetic given the kind of season he’s had, holding a .226 through this game. I’m curious if this will continue against the Red Sox or not next time out.
Tanner Roark – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. This is better than your standard VPQS since it’s just 2 ER, but you have to feel a little dirty accepting those five walks and four strikeouts, right?
Carlos Rodon – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Weird seeing a start like this from Rodon. Shouldn’t it be 5.2 innings, 9 Ks, 9 baserunners, 3 ER? Whatever, I’m definitely happy with this.
Dan Straily – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Meh. It doesn’t hurt you, but it’s not enough substance for me to be too satisfied by rolling with Straily.
Anthony Banda – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Banda was pulled at 69 pitches after a pair of 1-2-3 innings because the Diamondbacks wanted a pinch hitter. This might be the most convincing arguement for the DH to be implemented MLB wide. When you take innings away from pitchers, that’s where I draw the line. THESE ARE MY PEOPLE.
Luis Castillo – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. So it’s a VPQS and four Ks from Castillo. Just on the border, but that’s a Win. Streamer Record 60-42-14. However, this is the third straight start that Castillo hasn’t been fully locked in with his command and I’m a bit worried. The upside is there and I think his mechanics do dictate a better overall performance, but something is off right now. I wonder if it’ll stay like this the rest of the year making him a questionable arm to draft around #200 next year, or if he’ll pull it around and make you upset when his season ends a few starts too soon.
Gerrit Cole – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s 10 of his last 11 starts that I’m satisfied with (one 7 ER outing on June 30th is the clear outlier) and I’m cool rolling with him to the end. Do I think he’s turning into a true ace? Not really. Do I think he’s back to being the King of Really Good? Absolutely.
James Paxton – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. This looks all fine until you hear the news that he left the game with a left pectoral strain. No. No. NOOOOOOOOO. If I had to guess, I’d say a month. Yeah. Pectoral strains are bad news. Like dark wings. 2017 sucks, yo.
Vincent Velasquez – 1.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. You’re a smart lad and you figured out that this was due to injury. “Right Middle Finger Numbness”. Yep, that’s what we’ve got here. Feel free to drop if he’s on your roster.
Chris Smith – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ah Smith, the man whose name is second only to Jack Johnson for most generic name in the states. And look at that, you made a stat line as generic as the rest of them, how adorable.
Zach Davies – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. So this is fun. Right after saying that I probably should have slotted Davies around the late 80s or so on last night’s podcast, Davies has a horrendous start following his recent stretch of four excellent outings. That’s baseball, Suzyn. Wait, when did she get here? Dude, my room’s a mess! I WASN’T PREPARED FOR SUZYN.
Drew VerHagen – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. VerHagen. Verhagen Verhagen Verhagen. What are we doing to do with you. Probably nothing? Yeah fine, that’s what we’re going to do. NOTHING! And you’re gonna like it…