By George! Lucas!

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

If you’re looking for legit Lucas Giolito no-hitter analysis, that’s not what you’re going to get this morning. I just want to fawn over his 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks – 30 Whiffs, 48% CSW performance, earning both the highest whiff count and CSW rate of the season from a starter. A clear of a Golden Goal as we’ve seen and he truly dominated the Pirates.

I know, some will be critical of this start because it’s the Pirates but I do want to turn your attention to his approach in this one. I’ve often talked about the colorful Nile of changeups and fastballs, splitting the middle of the plate in two with changeups arm-side and four-seamers glove-side as they would stream from above the zone to below it. This start…not so much. His changeup certainly found its way north-and-south, but he kept his four-seamer high-and-tight to left-handers all game and it was absolutely brilliant. It’s the best we’ve seen Giolito all season and he earned this no-hitter. Two pitches away from Maddux as well at just 101 pitches, if you can believe it.

The question is if this is a new Giolito and I’m inclined to say no. We see guys all the time have a peak start and fail to hold onto it in future games. That’s fine, Giolito at least has his AGA label intact and you’re confident throwing him out there. He suddenly doesn’t become elevated to Top 10 conversation or anything, though. I don’t think he’s Top 15 yet. Yet.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Spencer Turnbull vs CHC (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW. Ehhhhh so we saw double the amount of four-seamers to sinkers (yay!) but they weren’t super well commanded, while his slider/curveball/changeup combined for 3/21 whiffs. I need more than that from his breakers, specifically, and I’m not jumping back in wholeheartedly until I do. And now it’s the Twins? Yeah, nah.

Daniel Castano @ NYM (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW. Hey, not bad, Castano! I mean, it came with a HAISTFMFWT?! but still, you survived nearly five innings. Can’t say I anticipated that. Y’all know this isn’t worth your time, but I’m gonna applaud him for this.

Trevor Rogers vs NYM (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSWSo look at this guy. It was his MLB debut and while the walks and high 87 pitch count for just four frames is enough to keep you away (is he even getting another chance? Probably not?) Rogers did impress me with some 96 mph cheese from the left side with intent to elevate. His slider was…meh and his changeup wasn’t pretty either, but if he can figure a proper #2 pitch, there could be something here long term. Watch, he’ll get dealt to the Padres where they teach him a cutter and curveball and suddenly he’s at #67 in my pre-season ranks.

Seth Lugo @ MIA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 44% CSWThere was a ton of hype surrounding Lugo’s move to the rotation and I’m both shocked and not shocked (what’s the opposite of shocked? Complacent? Calm?). To those that want him in your rotation, this still isn’t enough for me as he went just 39 pitches. We’re going to be waiting for a 5/6 IP Lugo outing for about three more starts and what you saw last night was his ceiling – something you obviously can’t expect each night moving forward. He pitched super well, though, with sliders bitting effectively, fastballs avoiding the center of the zone, and was on the attack against the Marlins offense. So yeah, six frames of Lugo is well worthy of The List (probably around the late 50s or so?) but he’s not there for a bit and the floor is lava with that low pitch count.

Luis Castillo @ MIL (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Aces gonna ace. Well, that 1.50 WHIP is frustrating, but he’s avoiding the heart of the plate well, earned plenty of whiffs on non-changeups, and gives us every reason to continue starting him. Wanna guess with average fastball velocity in this one? 97.5 mph. Mmmmmmmm.

Rich Hill @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW. I watched a good amount of this and Hill did not look great. A lot of crushed balls, few whiffs, still 88 mph on his fastball (even as low as 83 mph!) and I think he escaped this one. He’s fine to start against the Tigers, but this isn’t a sign of Rich climbing the Hill to greatness as envisioned back in mid-July.

Sean Manaea @ TEX (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW. It’s all so boring as Manaea fights to be considered for the Spider-Man award. I really would hate rolling this die every start.

Jake Arrieta @ WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 31% CSWHe’s a Toby at best that squeezed out a dub last night. Yes, I totally expect Arrieta to go 14/17 with outs in the field moving forward as that’s just one strikeout (HAISTFMFWT?!) and you know that’s not sustainable.

Tyler Glasnow vs BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 44% CSW. Aces gonna ace. Yesss, it’s kinda wild to see 44% CSW and 23 whiffs, marks that would often earn a Golden Goal and to leave empty-handed as Giolito went Giolit-no-no. He did a superb job keeping his fastball up and curveballs far enough up as well and the Orioles were helpless. I even saw whiffs at 97 mph off the plate down – you don’t see that – and they were doomed. Doooooomed. Maybe I should have had Glasnow above Snell after all…

Shane Bieber vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Aces gonna ace. This one was more of a struggle for Bieber than usual, but he settled in after enduring the mighty Twins offense in the second. He’s so good.

Brandon Woodruff vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Ahhhh there we go, Woodruff. His four-seamer was way better in this one as he tucked his sinker away and spotted the straight heater up-and-glove-side all evening. He was even able to steal some strikes with curveballs along the way as well (4/5!) and yep, we’re cool with Woody.

Tommy Milone @ TB (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW. He featured his changeup low a ton and earned plenty of outs despite a super low 17% CSW. His heater somehow was spit on constantly for 16 called strikes (likely looking for changeups?) and it led to what you see there. There’s something awfully appealing about Milone and his 85 mph fastball returning lines like this. It’s the Jays and Yankees next and I don’t think I’m in for either one, though.

Tyler Chatwood @ DET (L) – 1.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 20% CSWThis was a Still ILL as he returned from his back injury, but remember that other blowup he had? That wasn’t the old Chatwood. This was the old Chatwood. That’s not an endearing statement and we’re having Chatwood on the wire until he shows he’s confidently featuring cutters and fastballs again.

Cristian Javier vs LAA (W) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW. I’m glad to see Javier’s fastball earn whiffs again, earning a 13% SwStr for the day. We haven’t really seen that since his debut. The slider was good per usual as well and hey, that’s a decent start, one out from a PQSNow it’s the Rangers at home? Yep, that works for me.

German Marquez @ ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW. Okay, his slider was legit back – 52% CSW. FIFTY-TWO-PERCENT – but he got a bit unlucky and couldn’t find the zone at times. I know it’s not great with the Padres in Coors and then heading to face the Dodgers on the road, but I’m inclined to start him both times as that slider and curveball are locked in. The king of Cherry Bombhas arrived. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.

Marco Gonzales @ SD (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW. He’s fresh off a great start against the Dodgers and now Gonzo did it against the Padres, that madman. I don’t think we have a Vargas Rule on our hands – those aren’t the ratios you want – but I’m not ignoring it completely.

Alex Young vs COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Despite the 3 ER (not terrible), you got a strikeout per inning and a 1.20 WHIP. That’s a streaming win in my book – Streaming Record: 17-16. He hosts the Giants next and that could work again.

Chase Anderson vs BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Velocity is still 92/93 instead of 94/95 and while his cutter was solid like the good ole days, I need that velo and much more. Sorry, this isn’t the amazing Chase. He’s more like a Chevy than a Porche. They are completely different kinds of cars. That’s the point.

Julio Teheran @ HOU (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW. Four Whiffs? A meh slider? Sub 70 pitches? Please, please, I can only take so much.

Brandon Bielak vs LAA (L) – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Alright, alright, I get it. I should have never considered Bielak over Framber, even if Bielak started this game on short rest and we didn’t expect much of anything. I was actually talking to someone about Framber’s sinker this morning and…you know what, I’ll save Framber discussions for later. Still not a massive fan but that’s a Vargas Ruleof course. Bielak? Yeah, his time has come and gone.

Adam Wainwright vs KC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW. This would have been my streaming pick if y’all didn’t own him in 63% of leagues. I still can’t wrap my head around that. But look at that line! It justifies it! Does it? That’s a 1.30 WHIP with a 5.14 ERA and just four strikeouts without a Win. If he gets dropped as he should, I’d consider streaming him against the Indians, but I know that won’t happen. I know.

Erick Fedde vs PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW. Don’t Trust The Feddes. Especially if you’re trying to feed your strikeouts as he earned just one in this game. HAISTFMFWT?! I think you know better moving forward.

Julio Urias @ SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Whoa, I think Urias actually pitched well in this one. I mean, sure, his curveballs and sliders were a bit too elevated and his changeup wasn’t nearly as good as we’ve seen, but this shouldn’t have been the trouncing of the month. I think he’ll get his JU-JU back like a Smith-Shuster next time out. Wait, is that a fantasy football reference? Sorry, sorry! We just launched our new QB List website and it’s on the brain. I’m also going on their podcast later this week…? WHAT THIS IS HERESY. Hey, it’s to be the dunce. Come listen.

Rick Porcello vs MIA (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW. The Thief isn’t stealing a victory today. Can you guess Porcello’s ERA right now? It’s 6.43, about 3.40 points higher than his 3.05 FIP. That’s what a .413 BABIP and 57% LOB rate will do to you, but also a 6.6% overall SwStr rate and, you know, not pitching great.

Steven Brault @ CWS (L) – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSWSteven, nooooo. There’s something a little alluring about Brault, but it’ll take a heavy string of outings before we can truly get excited for that and this isn’t the start of that string. We all wish we could be a frayed end some days, you know?

Matt Harvey @ STL (ND) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 28% CSWIt’s still the darkest of nights for Harvey. All we want is a 50/50 shot with him and we can’t even get that. We can’t even make a dent in those chances.

Jose Suarez @ HOU (L) – 1.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSWOuch, poor Suarez. It’s not the JS script we wanted for him. Okay, likely the one we actually made, but not the one we wanted.

Chris Paddack vs SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Blegh. His fastball was better last time, and now was featured a bit too low, didn’t overwhelm batters, and yeah, that’s the result. The good news is that his changeup was dope (40% CSW!) as he got the pitch consistently down. Just command that four-seamer better man, you got this.

Johnny Cueto vs LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSWCueto will have times when he surprises us. Not today Cueto, not today.

Kyle Hart @ TOR (ND) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Look at this Hart beating. Normally that’s a good thing. This is not a good thing.

Kyle Gibson vs OAK (L) – 6.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW. I’m glad to see Gibson go slider heavy with a 32% CSW across 40 thrown, but he’s struggling to pair it with effective heaters and changeups, all of which were far from commanded well. There’s still talent in there with Gibson, but he has to change his tone to get there.

 

Today’s Streamer

 

For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.

 

 

Dakota Hudson vs. Kansas City Royals – Hudson’s breakers are looking better this year + the Royals ain’t great. Nope, he’s at 30% owned now so fine. I’ll go Kevin– nope he’s also 30% owned. Lester is 60% owned?! Cool, I have no choice but to go Trevor Williams against the Chicago White Sox. Ugh. Streaming is pain.

 

Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Chad Kuhl vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Kim and Freeland are both over the 20% threshold (Freeland is over 60%?!) so I’m going Kuhl here and hoping his sinker gets by as he earns whiffs with that deadly slider.

 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

JT Brubaker vs. Milwaukee Brewers – I think his slider is solid, his command is good, and that sinker can earn outs. I’d also consider rolling with Tyler Anderson in Arizona as he’s been CSW-gold lately.

 

Game of the Day

 

Ian Anderson vs. Gerrit Cole – GIF Breakdown incoming, and maybe one for Ian too.

 

 

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire)

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.

2 responses to “By George! Lucas!”

  1. Avatar Giants Fan says:

    Regarding your ownership rates for streaming picks: I’ve noticed a few teams now employing a “Zero-RP” strategy, trying to easily pick up Wins, Ks, and QS by carrying an extra 4-5 SP arms… If more than one do this in a league, it makes the streaming pool super shallow. Apparently, it seems like more than one team is taking that route in basically all leagues, making your streaming picks very difficult.

  2. Avatar Rocket says:

    Nick, Giolito had 48% CSW and 30 whiffs on top of his no no. Annnnd no love for a top 15 consideration? I think he deserves a look at the back end of tier 2 at a minimum. The two things that really stood out to me was a) how well he worked with his catcher James McCann. McCann called a great game and Giolito executed it. And b) he really has a great arsenal of pitches he can use to not just put guys away but, also to record easy outs. I knew he had great stuff but the variety of weapons was what caught my attention. Yes its the Pirates, but we have seen Giolito dominate before. I think his trajectory as an SP is still going up. There are a lot of great pitchers in tier 2 but please take another look.

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