10 Garrett Gold

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Garrett Richards @ NYM (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 93 pitches.

I was out on Garrett RichardsThe command was wonky. His slider was gone in his last game. Now he was squared up with the solid Mets offense, making for an easy bench. And all of that was thrown into the wind with a ridiculous 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks performance that came with 19 whiffs and 42% CSW, good enough for a Golden Goal. Yeah, that kind of night.

I bet you have many ideas as to how Richards did this and to be completely straight with y’all, I think it’s a bit weird. His four-seamer earned 11/52 whiffs despite not the best command of it, his slider + curveball went 45% CSW, landing curveballs in the zone and a decent amount of slider whiffs but none of it was sparkling or demanding our attention. Richards simply did well with his stuff inside the zone, and the Mets weren’t ready to tackle it.

For a man generally struggling to find the strike zone, it’s encouraging to see him live there for an evening. With Baltimore and Texas on the horizon, there’s merit in adding him to your roster today. He could very well be a Cherry Bomb though, so be ready to let him loose if this zone-friendly approach isn’t there against the Orioles.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

Cristian Javier vs SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 107 pitches.

It’s great to see him still earning four-seamer whiffs, but the slider that got me all amped up last time wasn’t working the same way. Just 3/21 whiffs ain’t gonna shove the coal into this hype train. He’ll get a test against the Yankees left and I hope it wasn’t just a Blame it on the Mariners here. Yes, I’m starting him then.

Ian Anderson vs CHC (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 90 pitches.

Easily the best start we’ve seen from Anderson as he was able to consistently put his heater in the top third of the zone, keep the changeup down, and land curveballs for strikes. Ladies and gents, I give you Anderson’s ceiling. It’s way to early to tell if this is something that can stick around — please! — but this approach and execution is what we’re aiming for in every start from Ian. There’s some peaceful about seeing the ideal approach actually pair with a successful stat line. All is right in the world.

Corey Kluber @ BAL (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.

So this is a start. No, it’s not “Kluber is back!” It’s a start. I’m not excited to see that he had to rely on getting five changeup whiffs in this one — a positive, but not something I expect to be consistent with Kluber — though 11 whiffs between cutters and curveballs is classic Kluber. Throw in a sinker now sitting 91/92 mph instead of ~90 mph and I’m breathing a bit easier moving forward. So yeah, not out of the woods but we have some direction here. Now I want you to overwhelm with that breaker next time. Detroit is next, and that is my self-declared Judgement Day for Kluber, after all.

Mike Foltynewicz vs LAA (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

It’s heart-warming to see Folty earn a solid ERA, but that doesn’t mean I have to spend a roster spot on him. His slider isn’t working magic like the past and he’s not throwing that sweet sweet ched. Is cheddar supposed to be sweet? SWEET SWEET CHED. I want it and we don’t have it.

Tyler Anderson vs KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

His CSW darling of a four-seamer wasn’t in proper form here, but his changeup picked up the slack to go 7/34 whiffs against the meh Royals squad. Now he gets San Diego and — wow, he’s already off your roster? Your APM is ridiculous.

José Ureña @ CWS (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 98 pitches.

Leave it to Ureña to give you 1 ER in seven frames and still have you upset with a 1.40+ WHIP and just two strikeouts. It’s not fun rostering José.

Merrill Kelly vs SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

I’m impressed with Kelly here as he squirmed his way around the Padres’ lineup. Do I buy it? Not a chance, but that was a pretty curveball you had there. You get some solid props, like an oversized pair of glasses. Always a classic.

Carlos Martínez vs PHI (W) – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 93 pitches.

The world where CarMart is rostered with legit hype is when we see 94 mph fastballs paired with sliders and changeups for whiffs. His heater was 93.5 mph with 5/25 whiffs across his slider and changeup. Ehhhhh it’s close, but it just isn’t there. Not a single pitch earned a 30% CSW and I’m not leaning into that BABIP staying this low. It’s a trap.

Michael Wacha vs OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 69 pitches.

Do I understand how he survived? Not really. Does it matter? Not really. Should you be rostering Wacha? Not really. K.

Marco Gonzales @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

That’s another solid start from a guy aiming to be Spider-Man, but it doesn’t make me feel as if I undervalued Marco entering this year. Looks like he gets the Angels on Sunday, and I think I’m still being cautious there unless I needed to chase a Quality Start. I’m just not seeing enough from his repertoire as 12 called strikes on sinkers are hard to bank on each time out.

Trevor Williams @ ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 86 pitches.

Like the McRib, the slider is back on the menu and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Williams placed the pitch nearly exclusively out of the zone and got 7/19 whiffs on it (whoa!) but I’m not sold about everything else in the mix. I think it makes for a guy to avoid against Cincy and consider for Pittsburgh. Don’t get cute here.

Trent Thornton vs WSH (ND) – 2.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 42 pitches.

He’s the Discount Hotel not for being reliable, you know. Maybe one day it all comes together, but today certainly isn’t that day.

David Peterson vs BOS (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 92 pitches.

While the CSW nor strikeouts were there, I’ll absolutely take this start from Peterson. It does feel like he got away with it, though, with just a 91 mph fastball and 6% slider CSW. That ain’t right.

Jakob Junis @ PIT (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 84 pitches.

Hot dang Junis! This is a lovely outing, with that fantastic cutter earning a 44% CSW. You know what would be easy for me to do? Proclaim Junis as the new hot stuff, a Spice Girl as I bring the term back, and everyone would nod, shake hands, and smile for being so smart about Junis. BUT LIFE AIN’T EASY. Look, Junis’ fastball is a legit liability, here not even sitting 91 mph and falling to 89/90 mph, and there’s nothing else in that repertoire after the new cutter (which replaced the great slider of old, i.e. nothing actually new). This screams Blame it on the Pirates and now you’re tempted to start him against Cleveland next. Look, that’s fine. Go with it, I don’t blame you at all. Is Junis a long-term solution? Nah. But has he earned a hold to start next week? Sure, go ahead.

Aaron Sanchez vs COL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 82 pitches.

It ain’t pretty in the slightest, but this is shockingly a streaming victory as Sanchez held a sub 4.00 ERA, a decent WHIP, and six strikeouts. Streaming Record: 15-9. You really need to get rid of him ASAP with 2x SDP next, though. Like stop and do that. Now.

Jeff Hoffman @ LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 73 pitches.

The Hoffman experience continues, here with five walks as his slider wasn’t the pitch he needed it to be. We expected nothing and yet I feel obligated to go into more detail. I dunno, Hoffman didn’t do anything to make him a worthy play against the ChiSox next, but hey, maybe the Pirates after if he’s still in the rotation? Is that a good blurb? Suit man whispers in my ear Cool, thanks ya’ll.

Adrian Houser vs MIA (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.

Whoa! Houser actually earned some strikeouts and a decent WHIP! All it took was for the Marlins to be incredibly passive and take 14 fastballs for strikes. Who knew?! Adrian hasn’t returned, I’m so sorry.

Frankie Montas @ TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

It’s a PQS and I want more from Montas. I’m sick of waiting, UNLEASH THE BEAST! Fine, he hasn’t quite gotten into dominant mode with his slider and splitter yet, still relying on frequent sinkers and four-seamers over the plate and BABIP taking the wheel. Well, that isn’t entirely fair as he earned at least three whiffs on all four of his pitches and I think he’s showcasing a solid floor with his committed fastball approach (it does average 96 mph and gets strikes often, after all). Those worried about his slow start to the year should feel a bit more confident after this.

Chi Chi Gonzalez @ SF (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 58 pitches.

Sup Chi Chi. You did some things in Oracle Park and they were decent. That’s pretty, pretty cool. Oh, you’re heading back to Coors now? Welp, see ya later.

Chris Paddack @ ARI (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.

I think we’re making progress here with Paddack’s heater, sitting 95 mph here and living in the top third of the zone. Changeups were better, too, and with the Pirates and Oracle Park ahead, I think this ramp-up to his old self may be happening. You got this Paddack, YOU CAN DO IT.

Daniel Castano @ MIL (ND) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 59 pitches.

Daniel was conflicted. It wasn’t what he wanted to do, but the lack of stamina in his arm, the questionable velocity, the void of a breaking ball he could earn for a whiff, it all added up. It was time. He was tired and had gone along with his coach’s wishes for too long. He knew he had to send his disapproval to the masses. I stood there, in support, and all I could do was give him encouragement in the moment. “Daniel,” I muttered in a soft whisper. “Cast a no.”

Bruce Zimmermann vs NYY (ND) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 74 pitches.

Yeaaah this ain’t it. The whiffs didn’t return, the BSB wasn’t present, and I’m not sure what else Zim can offer. Can he rebound against the Mariners next time out? Sure, that’s a possibility. I wish I saw better underlying skills here to make me more confident, though.

Lucas Giolito vs DET (L) – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 114 pitches.

We had ourselves a Careful, Icarus here as Giolito allowed his final three ER in the seventh frame. It’s not the outing you wanted from Giolito after his horrid performance last time out + the whole cut on his finger thing, but he had one ER through six frames. You know this is fine.

Aaron Civale vs MIN (W) – 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Bleeeggggh. Civale is still struggling to find that pitch in his repertoire and while it should be his curveball (47% CSW!) he doesn’t feature it enough to dominate. It was a full mix of all six offerings in this one and while it did mean he pitched into the eighth, it’s more Toby like than AGA. I can’t ignore the Careful, Icarus here as well as he allowed his fourth run in the eighth and I’m just hoping something clicks for Civale to push him into a ~25% strikeout arm.

Max Scherzer @ TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

Aces gonna allow a grand slam to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and put a massive stain on a so-far excellent 2021 campaign. Does this change anything for Scherzer moving forward? Absolutely not. Brush it off.

José Quintana @ TEX (L) – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 66 pitches.

Welp, at least we know that the previous start was a legit Birthday Party and not one of those “I’m turning 27 today so give me free drinks” events.

Zach Eflin @ STL (L) – 6.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 104 pitches.

This is a weird one. On one hand, his sinker, slider, and curveball all earned a 42% CSW. On the other, the Cardinals elected to take 30 called strikes. You just don’t see that. He gets the Mets and Braves next, and I think you’re going to start him for both. You’re uneasy about it though, aren’t you. I feel that. And you haven’t even read this yet as I type it. Spooky.

Walker Buehler vs CIN (ND) – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 96 pitches.

Aces gonna act like Giolito and get a Careful, Icarus with a pair of ER in the seventh. Uggh, the 17 whiffs and 40% CSW should tell you the story here as you shouldn’t be worried. I feel for y’all who lost that PQS.

Kenta Maeda @ CLE (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.

Oooof. Are the HRs going to come down? Yes. Will he better over time? Of course. Can he ever find his changeup? I DON’T KNOW. Just 1/28 whiffs on the slow ball is just maddening at this point and he can’t sneak in fastballs into the zone like the good ole days. The plan is supposed to be “slider/fastball for a strike –> slider/changeup out of the zone to get the out.” Now it’s all “HOW DO I GET A STRIKE”, and it ain’t working. I’m just as frustrated as you are, and I hate how I need to stay grounded and sit on my hands. Y’all want to drop him, and I don’t blame you in the slightest. This start doesn’t change the fact that I believe Maeda will be more good than bad ROS, and it’s just a matter of when he turns it around, not if. Please be soon…please be soon…

 

Game of the Day 

 

 

Sonny Gray vs Clayton KershawI want to see both breakers from Sonny and who doesn’t want to see TATIAGA do his thing.

 

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

 

Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar Johnny B says:

    Would you consider trading Maeda for Civale at this point? Or just hold steady? Maeda doesn’t seem to be hitting his spots. The homeruns by Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes were badly missed pitches by Maeda. Someone with is command missing this badly has me concerned.

  • Avatar Pat Zachary says:

    my staff-
    Burnes, Bauer, Lynn, Gallen, S. Gray, Morton, McCullers
    Carrasco on the wire
    Drop Sonny Gray to stash The Cookie?

    thx..

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