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After Showers, Eric Flowers

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Monday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Eric Lauer vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 87 pitches.

I kept flip-flopping on how I felt about Eric Lauer all off-season. Seriously, it was a mess of a groin injury, poor command, and a rough start against the Orioles to begin the year, but sprinkled inside was a rumor of increased velocity and then we saw him sitting 94 mph (two ticks higher than last year!) in that start against the Orioles. I had a feeling today we’d see the true Lauer we’ve dreamed of and he came through — 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 87 pitches with a Win against the Pirates.

Now it wasn’t 94 mph, but 93.5 mph is still a full tick higher than last season, while his curveball and slider each found a ton of strikes. I watched this one and saw a guy in solid control of the game — not pristine, but he was able to move around the plate effectively and use his newfound velocity to create some tough at-bats.

I don’t see Lauer as a “must-add”, but I think he’s part of a fun crop of arms alongside Merrill Kelly, Nick Martinezand Carlos Carrasco where he’ll likely help a lot more than hurt across six frames on a given night. That’s a cool thing.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

 

Chad Kuhl vs PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 68 pitches.

Kuhl, what are you doing up here. Look, I’m stoked your slider is a solid pitch again (63% CSW?!?!) but as long as your heater is sitting 93 mph, you know we can’t trust this for a second. AND YOU PITCH IN COLORADO.

Sean Manaea vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 78 pitches.

Another start, another strong outing from Manaea. This one didn’t come with the same velocity (90.4 mph) but his changeup and curveball did good things while the sinker still managed to get plenty of whiffs. The man’s simply cruising right now.

Frankie Montas vs BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.

Remember when he had that poor first game and some were scared? There’s nothing to be afraid of y’all, Montas is pretty dang good.

Shane McClanahan @ CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 80 pitches.

ATTA BOY MCSHANE. Instead of figuring out how to stop hard contact with his heater, McClanahan elected to simply throw the dang thing less often. The result was six frames in just 80 frames as he tossed just 28% heaters. It’s just lovely, isn’t it? Shane, you can have all the Golden Goalyou want if you keep this approach. Your stuff is just that good.

Dylan Bundy @ BOS (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 71 pitches.

Ummm Nick. Does this mean Bundy is good again? Bundy somehow managed to earn 39% CSW on fastballs that came in 2.5 ticks slower than usual, and only featured his elite slider 21% of the time. He’s also lost nearly 400 rpm on his curveball and 280 rpm on his slider. No, we’re not fixed and I hate how much of a tease this start was.

Spenser Watkins @ OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 67 pitches.

Man, the Orioles pitchers really have put together some decent starts, but without something for me to properly latch onto. I mean, seriously, one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?!

Aaron Nola @ COL (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 84 pitches.

PHEW. He allowed a HR to end his night (of course) and his curve wasn’t as good as it should be (Coors!) but he survived. Keep starting him, this will even itself out like some good ole osmosis.

Kyle Hendricks vs TB (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

This start is awfully forgettable and humorously in the middle of his first and second start. Yes, oh so humorous it is. What a chuckle it gave us. A jolly good laugh. A squeal of a—MAKE IT STOP.

Luis Garcia vs LAA (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 72 pitches.

What a weird outing from Garcia. I’ve sung the same tune about Garcia for a while — I was scared about his slider disappearing last year + his cutter carried him through the season with decent fastballs and an inconsistent changeup. What did we get here? Why just 14% cutters (10% CSW), six sliders, 58% fastballs and he’s sitting nearly two ticks harder. Whaaaa. It’s like he’s a completely new pitcher or something. So assessing this guy, he seems pretty good? Sliders and curveballs paired for 22% usage and 60% CSW and that fastball got work done. Too bad he gets Toronto next, though, I don’t know what to make of this, and that matchup has me too terrified.

Nick Lodolo @ SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 90 pitches.

Whoa, a Gallows Pole for Lodolo?! Sure, the ERA/WHIP are not what we wanted, but Lodolo did this not with the great break, but instead with sinkers and changeups. Wild. Are you back on the train? Still some kinks to iron out (hey, can you be dominant with all three pitches?!) but you best be getting back on before it’s too late.

Clayton Kershaw vs ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

His fastball command was far from ideal and he was punished a bit for it. Womp womp. Still a decent WHIP and 7 Ks, so that’s cool. There goes the perfect season…So close.

Rich Hill vs MIN (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 80 pitches.

Blegh. I was considering Hill as a desperate two-start add and this dampens the whole week. He did normal Rich Hill things, it just doesn’t always work, ya know?

Michael Lorenzen @ HOU (L) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 79 pitches.

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. He had some erratic changeups and sliders, though cutters and sinkers found edges often and things didn’t go his way. At the end of the day, I think Lorenzen isn’t someone we trust again strong offenses, but we feel pretty good against the majority of teams. Not amazing, but good enough.

Huascar Ynoa @ LAD (ND) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 75 pitches.

I mean, we didn’t expect Ynoa to turn it around against the mighty Dodgers and while it was a 37% CSW on sliders, I want more than 2/30 slider whiffs. I won’t rule out a proper bounceback against the Marlins next time out, but you’re better off waiting for a dominant outing before jumping back in.

Zach Thompson @ MIL (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

He’s a Frozen Banana who I hope will get it together with his cutter and curveball. That would make me change my name from Simpson to Thompson so quickly.

 

Game of the Day 

Tylor Megill vs. Alex Cobb – FOR REAL THIS TIME.

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 ET Monday through Friday.

Photo by Nick Wosika/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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