There’s no question that t he start that turned the most heads last night was Robert Stephenson going 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 11 Ks again the Pirates. I took the time to watch this one and he was locked in from the start. In fact, he struck out the first six batters he faced in this game and cruised until the sixth where he left with the bases loaded. Now this is a near 2.00 WHIP as well to go with those Ks, including four walks – and it’s fun to note that he went 3.1 innings with 2 ER, 7 Hits, 4 Walks, 5 Ks after the opening stretch. But let’s get to the meat of this as I’m sure you’re curious if he’s a guy to pick up. This might sound surprising but…meh. The Pirates were chasing his Slider a TON in this one, which allowed him to get ahead in counts with pitches that would normally be taken off the plate. Remember, Stephenson’s biggest knock has been his walk rate, which is created by a Fastball that has its moments, but gets himself stuck in bad counts often. In this game, he avoided that a bit at the start with a Slider that got whiff after whiff (22 swings-and-misses overall this game for an easy Gallows Pole) and I’m not buying that this will happen often. Now, his schedule is fantastic – Mets, Brewers, Mets, Pirates, Cardinals – and I don’t blame you for running after it if you’re looking for that extra help at the end of your staff. Still, I don’t see this being a game that we see often from Stephenson and that floor is still very very low.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Ryan Merritt – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I won’t do it. What, pick him up? Well obviously not that because he’s a Cup of Schmo n all. Ohhh, make the obvious bad joke? I HAVE MY DIGNITY.
Ariel Miranda – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Sorry, I still don’t want to be a part of this world.
A.J. Cole – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. This is coming after three games of 5, 4, 3 ER each, and in four of five games he’s collected 15 total walks. That’s bad. But, this was the Mets who are without Conforto…Cespedes…and Bruce…and Granderson…man this is a horrendous offense.
Bartolo Colon – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Look at this. Paul Funyun managed to get himself 20 outs without striking out a single batter. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FEED MY FAMILY WITH THIS?
Jacob deGrom – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace as deGrom soars past 200 strikeouts before the end of August. He’s been hated on since the beginning and I really just understand why.
Zack Greinke – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna ace. WHERE ARE YOUR 200 STRIKEOUTS, HUH?
Justin Verlander – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. We’ve come to this point y’all. Aces Gonna Ace. Welcome back, Jimmy V.
Jerad Eickhoff – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. I wanted to stream Eickhoff on Thursday, but then he got bumped to Friday against the Cubs and I went with Conley instead. That’s on me. I can’t be too upset though since I enjoy seeing Eickhoff excel after a tumultuous first half.
Kendall Graveman – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. So the velocity jump is still there that got people excited back in April, but it’s weird thinking a guy can strikeout people with a 6.9% overall whiff rate as he throws his Changeup + Curveball a total of 14% of the time. I can understand people chasing this, he’s just not for me.
Jason Vargas – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Not sure if I’m mentioned it yet during these roundups, but Jason has a term named after him now: The Vargas Rule. It’s essentially the rule that when a guy isn’t supposed to be doing well, but he’s on a hot streak, you keep riding it until he hits that wall. Vargas hit that wall about a month ago and you shouldn’t expect him to rebound.
Kenta Maeda – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Look at that, two straight 6.0 inning starts from Maeda after giving us just two starts over 5 frames in his previous twelve. And the fifth straight with at least six strikeouts! Thanks Roberts.
Collin McHugh – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Atta boy McHugh. I still find it a little odd that I’m so on the McHugh train after jumping off in the middle of 2015, but here we are. With his good schedule ahead and that new Slider, you best be on board.
CC Sabathia – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s two straight solid outings from Sabathia as he lowers his season ERA to 3.82. I can’t say I’m sold here, but I can fathom him being a streamer at some point down the stretch…just not against the Indians next time out.
Chase Anderson – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. The good news: It’s an okay ERA and six strikeouts as he survied the Dodgers. The bad news: His velocity was 93.6 – the lowest since pre-Anderson breakout – and that WHIP is bad. I think I chalk this up to facing the Dodgers and I’m really impressed that he allowed just 3 ER across two starts in Coors and LAD. The velocity is worrisome, but not enough for me to get off this ride.
Parker Bridwell – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I gotta say, seeing Bridge well allowed 2 ER or fewer in eight of his last nine starts is super cool. That’s a 2.38 ERA in 56.2 innings with a 6.0+ IPS. It also comes with a 6.04 K/9, 3.52 FIP, 4.56 xFIP, and 4.64 SIERA with average Hard/Soft rates. So you tell me, is this a TEEs that you’re willing to make a Grave Mistake with? I guess The Vargas Rule applies here – and this was the Astros last night (with only 9.1% soft contact, mind you) – but man does this scream caution to me.
Miguel Gonzalez – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Miguel…no. But Nick! 4 ER total in his last four starts in cluding the Astros, Dodgers and Tigers! Nine strikeouts in this game! Alright, let’s see. Velocity? The same. Pitch mix? The same. Whiff rates? The same. Even in this game? Yup, just six swings and misses in this one. So I repeat…ahem. Miguel…no.
Jeremy Hellickson – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. He’s the Devil and you best not be making deals with him. Unless it’s a deal away from your team. Then that’s okay.
Julio Teheran – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. But this game was at home!!! Maybe it will quell the Home/Road split discussion. Maybe. Are we just overlooking the fact that he pitched well here? Um, yeah. It’s Teheran. He’s not “fixed.”
Nick Martinez – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Nick, let’s be real. You don’t strike out a batter per inning, let alone seven in a game. Be yourself, man.
Jake Odorizzi – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Odorizzi, I just feel bad for you now. This is has been such a tough year for you.
Rick Porcello – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. I wonder if he’ll be a sleeper entering next season.
Chad Bettis – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Dang, you really want Bettis to go out there and kill it, you know? Unfortunately, he’s not a stud and you can’t bank on him to do well even against a team like Atlanta outside of Coors. Bummer.
Adam Conley – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Ugggggh. It’s the Padres Conley. And you had just fanned 11 in the previous outing. THE PADRES! I really need to recongize Conley for the China-made Cherry Bomb that he is. Streamer Record 66-50-14.
Ty Blach – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Blach.
J.A. Happ – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Dude. Why. And it’s not like you had that one bad inning, but you labored a bit through this one. Now it’s two straight 5 ER games after a trio of luscious starts and I’m conflicted. I don’t like being conflicted. My gut says you should look elsewhere short term as he faces the Red Sox twice in a row now, but after that I’m board again starting with his September 10th outing against the Tigers.
Ivan Nova – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s pretty telling how normal these starts seem for Nova these days.
Michael Wacha – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. There was a moment this season that I was getting behind Michael and not minding that he’s a slow Wacha. We were able to make it work. But now that he’s allowed 17 ER in his last four games while facing the Royals, Braves, Pirates, and now Rays, there’s little reason to endure him. Hey, I’m Wacha here!
Travis Wood – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s the wrong Wood! At least this one is healthy. Man that hurt. I know….I know.
Jose Quintana – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Dang Quintana, you really know how to get us excited and then pull the rug right from under us. Speaking of which, has that ever happened to anyone in real life? Would that even work? I’m now imagining someone trying to pull a rug out from under a group of people, failing miserably, then getting terrible stares from everyone standing on the rug. Annnnyway, this is two 6 ER clunkers in his last five games and I’m sure some of you are upset about Quintana as he faced the Phils, but brush it off and move forward as he gets the Pirates twice, Brewers, Cards, Brewers, Cards ahead. That’s absolutely lovely.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Mike Montgomery vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – I can see someone liking Mark Leiter Jr. against the Braves and taking that chance, or Andrew Heaney getting another shot against the A’s, but I’m going Monty after tossing a decent outing last time out as he faces a poor Pirates offense.