Corey Uber

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Corey Kluber @ TEX (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 101 pitches.

When I said that Corey Kluber should help your teams more than hurt them once removed from the one month of the year he’s historically bad (April, you sly devil), I didn’t mean the man would go 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks as he tossed a no-hitter against the Rangers. But hey, I’ll take it.

The best news about this one was how he earned it. If you’ve followed these roundups, you’ll know I’ve been waiting for Kluber to perform at the level akin to his years of success – i.e. with his curveball earning whiffs and cutters earning strikes. After his success came via the changeup in previous outings, this one was on the back of that breaker, boasting an incredible 61% CSW across 31 curveballs. IN. SANE. I’m often stoked when someone breaks the 40% threshold, let alone 60%. His cutter was able to get foul balls and outs in the fielder and even that changeup did the same to help push him to the finish line, but the main story is that breaker. With the pitch working its magic, I can see the success continuing when he doesn’t face a team like Texas, like his next start as he hosts the Blue Jays in the Bronx. Let’s hope that curveball is still doing wonderful things.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

 

Clayton Kershaw vs ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 83 pitches. Aces gonna ace for TATIAGA. Who is that chasing after Kershaw? Why it’s Indiana Jones! That slider belongs in a museum! Yes it does, Indy. Yes it does.

Matt Peacock @ LAD (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 whiffs, 28% CSW 85 pitches. Hey, this is pretty dang good for a guy we have zero expectations for. It’s rooted in 15 called strikes on sinkers that we know by now is not sustainable, but let’s just be happy for the guy, you know? I wouldn’t be picking him up in my leagues.

Tarik Skubal @ SEA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 90 pitches. Nine strikeouts! Look at that. The main story is how well his slider looked, going 7/26 on whiffs as he used it as a proper complement to his four-seamer. It certainly is encouraging moving forward and I’d consider him for a stream against Cleveland next time out. That fastball/slider combo can work.

Logan Gilbert vs DET (L) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 74 pitches. Gilbert tossed more pitches in this one and managed to toss fewer than three frames. Yikes. His breakers are far from consistent as the same issues we had during his debut were still present + his fastball topped out at 94.7 mph, not the 96+ mph we saw in the debut. Stupid adrenaline! Now the starts get tougher and you should be dropping Gilbert if you haven’t already.

Joe Musgrove vs COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 93 pitches.

I gotta say, I’m proud of the Darvish/Snell/Musgrove crew each taking full advantage of their time with Rockie Road. This is how it’s supposed to be. Musgrove had both curveballs and cutters working on top of his fantastic slider and hopefully that sticks moving forward.

Kevin Gausman @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Don’t think about it, keep starting Gausman as that splitter can’t be stopped. Cool seeing 5/9 whiffs on sliders too.

Zack Greinke @ OAK (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.

It’s what we’ve been waiting for all year – lots of volume that opens the door for a solid strikeout game every so often. That’s two straight 7+ IP games now and I hope we’re confidently on the other side of all that talk about dropping Greinke. He’s going up The List to ~45-50 on Monday.

Lucas Giolito @ MIN (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 111 pitches.

Today was a day of redemption for many, Giolito very much included. It was the Nile of changeups and four-seamers once again, vertically overpowering batters north-and-south, resulting in 13 changeup whiffs, and his slider wasn’t so bad either. After what happened to Corbin yesterday, I won’t make the sweeping HE’S BACK comment again, but yeah, I think he’s back. Ahhh “think”. Hey, gotta play a little safer these days. He should be fine against the Cardinals and Orioles next.

Wade Miley vs SF (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 81 pitches.

He left a little early as he tweaked his foot, but I’m impressed by Miley as he neutralized the lefty-mashing Giants. His cutter is looking like its second-half 2018 self and I’d be happy rostering him against the Brewers and Cubs next.

Trevor Rogers @ PHI (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. And now he gets the Phillies again? Yeah, there’s no reason to believe this isn’t going to keep being phenomenal.

Charlie Morton vs NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 79 pitches.

Hot dang! Yes, the Mets are an atrocity of an offense right now, but I don’t really care – Morton still had to take advantage of it as he earned a King Cole. His fastball sat 95/96 mph (sweet) and his curveball returned 45% CSW. I kinda wish his cutter did more, but as long as Morton has those two assets – a 95+ heater and that classic deuce – he’ll succeed. Stick with this.

Aaron Civale @ LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 114 pitches.

Well ain’t this lovely. I’ve been talking about Civale in the context of “I’m not sure he has a legit pitch he can lean on” and here we saw a 43% CSW cutter thrown 30 times as it earned eight whiffs. I think that counts. His curveball took a bit of a backseat as a result, while still being effective in its limited usage and that’s fine with me. Meanwhile, Civale still has a super long leash – 114 pitches! – and I’m hoping this isn’t just a peak for Civale. I’ll feel better when I see the cutter earn these whiffs again.

Zach Eflin vs MIA (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 89 pitches.

Eflin got the Marlins and did exactly what you’re supposed to do. His curveball barely showed up and…he gets the Marlins again?! Eflin, this is just too easy.

Garrett Richards @ TOR (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

I still can’t quite believe he’s having this much success without his best pitch. Seriously, his slider returned a 12% CSW with just one whiff in this one (It’s holding a 22% CSW this year despite a career mark close to 38%), and despite that, EVEN IN DUNEDIN, Richards gave you a solid ERA and a Win (let’s just ignore that WHIP…). I wouldn’t feel comfortable holding on to Richards against Atlanta and Houston ahead.

Hyeon-Jong Yang vs NYY (L) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

Hey, props to Yang keeping his head above water against the tough Yankee lineup. There isn’t enough in that repertoire for me to get excited in any way, nor do I think he can come close to hinting that eight strikeout performance from a few weeks ago, but this was cool.

Frankie Montas vs HOU (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.

I’m still patiently waiting for his splitter and slider to return proper as they returned just 3 whiffs between them. I also can’t say I love the 44/19 split of sinkers to four-seamers here but I guess I’ll take this. I expect him to improve as we venture deeper into the season.

Matt Shoemaker vs CWS (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 87 pitches.

It’s good to see The Cobbler have splitters on the menu again, though they certainly have seen better days. Meanwhile, the slider that has brought the only success of his season so far went 0/23 on whiffs. So yeah, I ain’t buying this.

Corbin Burnes @ KC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Burnes’ cutter is still elite and it was cool to see him whip out that ridiculous slider 17 times here, returning a 41% SwStr rate. Because of course it did.

Max Scherzer @ CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace as Scherzer earned another Gallows PoleThat WHIP is stupid high, though, get it together Max.

Shohei Ohtani vs CLE (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 72 pitches.

One start removed from bliss, Ohtani’s fastball fell into the abyss as it lost over five ticks of velocity, averaging just 91.3 mph for the game. That’s horrifying. I have to think something is massively wrong here and I’m honestly shocked he was allowed to pitch as long as he did. I’m very scared. Just let him hit and hit alone, I guess.

Chi Chi Gonzalez @ SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

Somehow, CCG finds a way. It’s wild to me each time he does it, but the man has a Birthday Party so often you’d think he’s on Mercury. Just roll your eyes and move on.

Jack Flaherty vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. You want a better WHIP, I get it, but those strikeouts and a strong ERA are why you drafted Flaherty and we all know those walks shouldn’t be that high moving forward. That’s a 2.53 ERA on the year, by the way. That’s what’s up.

Brad Keller vs MIL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

I was hoping he would be Rad Keller against the Brewers (or maybe even Bread Keller if he was a wonder), but instead we got Bad Keller as this start did nothing for your teams. Streaming Record: 30-16. They can’t all be no-hitters.

Ryan Yarbrough @ BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 84 pitches.

I guess we’re okay with a VPQS from The Fratty Pirate? Actually, not really. In a standard league, that’s a poor ERA, poor WHIP, and just two strikeouts. This ain’t it.

David Peterson @ ATL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 62 pitches.

He did well against the Rays, but Atlanta is a plenty better offense. This is easy – he gets Rockie Road next and that’s worth your time. Just play the matchups, it’s that simple.

Trevor Cahill @ STL (L) – 1.0 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 36 pitches.

He needed 36 pitches to get just three outs as he’s turned back into Trevor O’Cahill, his Irish doppelganger. He’s incredibly average.

John Means vs TB (ND) – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.

Wait, what. Means, you’re supposed to trounce the Rays, not hold a paltry 15% CSW on four-seamers. It didn’t quite go his way and I actually think he pitched pretty well – his fastball was flirting with 94 mph all day. Keep on keepin’ on.

Jake Arrieta vs WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 94 pitches.

Even against a mediocre team like the Nationals, it’s clear Arrieta can’t be trusted. JA doesn’t Rule anymore, get that thought out of your head.

Ross Stripling vs BOS (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 76 pitches.

It’s Dunedin and Stripling had to face the Sawx. Some are calling for him to get swapped with Manoah and I’m not for it. Let Stripling have a proper season locked in the rotation – I think he’ll eventually turn into a decent streamer. But for now, a rolling team carries no Ross.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Sandy Alcántara vs Vince VelasquezI want that Alcántara rebound + Vince could actually make this work against the Marlins.

 

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

 

Featured image 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.

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