Despair Jordan

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Jordan Montgomery @ BAL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 76 pitches.

It’s been a weird season for Jordan MontgomeryThrough his first seven outings, Montgomery teetered on the edge with a 3.96 ERA, but his 1.03 WHIP and 24% strikeout rate with a 30% CSW suggested more. Maybe that 1.40 HR/9 would go down, and after a phenomenal nine strikeout performance against the Rays, things were on the upswing. Monty was figuring it out and look, now it’s the Orioles! Surely this will work out.

Or maybe not. JorMont was removed after 76 pitches today with a ghastly 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks, raising his ERA 80 points (early season numbers are fun), bringing that WHIP to 1.15. And want to know the weird part? He wasn’t so bad. He didn’t allow a long ball, he featured his curveball 30% of the time for a fantastic 48% CSW, and his fastball sat 93/94 mph. If you told me this before the start, I would have expected six innings of dominance. There were a few mistakes that got punished, whisking him to the showers and damaging his reputation. Overall, I think Montgomery should still be beneficial through 2021, but considering the high ERA, I imagine you can put him on the wire for now he gets the White Sox and Blue Jays next, and I wouldn’t expect things to get better in a heartbeat. I do like that his curveball took shape here his changeup is usually the best offering and maybe he can build on that to be a proper fastball/hook/slow ball arm, though it’ll take some time to get there. Maybe it’s time for some Hibernation for The Bear.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

 

Freddy Peralta vs ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 88 pitches.

It’s pretty fun watching Peralta pump heaters over the plate as his extension makes you feel the FWWUMPH of the ball as it rips through the air to the glove. His command is still massively in question and will create volatility through the year, but it’s in your best interest to endure the bad for the good. He’s in too good a place this year. For those in dynasty leagues, you’ll want to trade him whenever he properly peaks this year as I don’t expect it to last over multiple seasons. This could be one of the worst sentences you write. True, but with hyper-crossbody mechanics, it doesn’t speak to consistency over the years.

Lance McCullers Jr. vs TEX (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

I want to grant the AGA label, but I’m going to wait until that Padres outing and if he passes the test there, he shows he can be trusted despite the matchup. Sandy has made me heavily reconsider these things now. Anyway, the slider wasn’t actually here, but it’s the Rangers and that didn’t matter. I hope he gets it back next time before that aforementioned San Diego date.

Robert Dugger vs CLE (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 49 pitches.

Didn’t realize Dugger left the Marlins to be with the Mariners, but here we are in a bullpen game, for the most part. Cool cool, no doubt no doubt. That’s it? That’s it.

Jimmy Nelson vs MIA (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 41 pitches.

It was a bullpen game here but it is cool to see Nelson “starting” again nonetheless. Reminds me of good times when he wasn’t throwing a…checks notes92 mph fastball.

Luke Weaver vs WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 68 pitches.

Weaver was pitching pretty decently until he left with a shoulder injury. Poor guy. I imagine this is a streaming victory simply because it didn’t hurt you…? Please let me know in the comments and on Twitch tomorrow morning. Streaming Record: 29-14.

Erick Fedde @ ARI (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 97 pitches.

Wait what. Erick isn’t supposed to do this. Whatever, don’t get suckered in. After all, Don’t Trust The Fedde.

Dylan Cease vs KC (ND) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

Sooooo this isn’t what you expected, is it. You’ll obviously take it because it certainly doesn’t hurt you, but there wasn’t a whole lot of good command here. Slider was the best offering once again, but the heater, curve, and changeup were lost like Gilligan. Now it’s the Yanks and I worry that his lack of polish will come around to bite him. He’s not a finished product yet.

Josh Fleming vs NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 53 pitches.

Hot dang, that’s a fantastic performance as Fleming squeezed everything he could out of his very low pitch count. Must. Be. Efficient. Solid pitch separation with cutters, sinkers, and changeups all doing different things, but yeah, you can’t bank on this again. Not a chance with that pitch count.

Kwang-Hyun Kim @ SD (L) – 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 71 pitches.

We didn’t expect much from Kim against the Padres, and sadly with just 71 pitches here, I don’t think we should be relying on him for the Cubs or ChiSox next. In due time, you’ll be a streamer again.

Antonio Senzatela vs CIN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 98 pitches.

I’m sorry this roundup is a little later than usual. I spent a good five minutes with my arms open, palms facing up, eyes rolling, and head shaking in disbelief. This is just stupid, Antonio. Don’t you know this was Coors and against the Reds?

Alex Wood @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 100 pitches.

Wood got a great matchup and did exactly what he was supposed to do Imma ignore that WHIP, though. Stupid Singled Out. He’s at 92 mph on sinkers with that slider still missing bats (8/30 whiffs!), and he’s at a point where you wonder if he’s able to endure two starts against the Dodgers. That’s gonna be a tough call.

Kyle Hendricks @ DET (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 105 pitches.

Hendricks performed against the Dodgers, got unlucky against the Pirates, and finally finally gave us the start we want against the Tigers, earning a wonderful King Cole along the way. His changeup earned 32% CSW, his curveball at 47% CSW, and all was right in the world. Weird to see no whiffs but 19 called strikes on sinkers, though. I mean, not that weird for Hendricks, but a bit startling in general. Now that the confidence is there, the Nationals + Pirates should bode well.

Pablo López @ LAD (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 90 pitches.

I know, we normally see a start of bliss after his rough outings, but this was the Dodgers! This is certainly bliss given the circumstance. Wild today to see his changeup earn a…ZERO PERCENT CSW. That’s right, 0/15 CSW on changeups as the Dodgers were able to make contact on 10/15 thrown. Wild. Fastball and curveball did work earning strikes otherwise, and there’s your outing. I think you’re fine starting him until further notice and maybe there’s something new here in that curveball.

Jeff Hoffman @ COL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 79 pitches.

Hoffman made his return to Coors, and you could hear him swear under his breath before each pitch. Ain’t no place like home of the Rockies. Cool to see 8/26 slider whiffs, though.

Brady Singer @ CWS (ND) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 102 pitches.

Hey, that’s better. Not the best WHIP, but both the sinker and slider earned whiffs a rarity for Singer and he was able to have success against a solid ChiSox crew. Enjoy the respite that is Detroit next.

Kyle Gibson @ HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

He. Can’t. Be. Stopped. He handled the Astros, now he gets the Yankees and who cares, right? It’s a Vargas Rule that you just have to listen to. The dude must abide. How long do we think this lasts? Another few weeks? A month? It makes me wonder how people would have treated him in drafts if he did this for all of 2020. Maybe drafted him as high as…Don’t say it. I won’t, I won’t. You get the idea, feel free to see high as this won’t last through the summmmerr niiiiiiiights. Sorry, I didn’t mean to remind y’all of Sandy like that.

Mitch Keller vs SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 92 pitches.

Whoaaa, eight strikeouts! And just six whiffs! Oh no. Yup, this isn’t the Keller that we want. How he did that with just 22% CSW is an absolute miracle you can’t have a strikeout without a CSW and don’t get the idea in your head that Keller has strikeout ability again. It’s not there yet.

Ryan Weathers vs STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 69 pitches.

Hey, Weathers is starting again! And he almost hit 70 pitches! And…didn’t earn a strikeout?! HAISTFMFWT?! I wish I could tell you he was throwing 80 or 90 pitches ASAP with the Mariners and Brewers ahead, but I think it should be a high enough pitch count to warrant your consideration for those games. But Nick, this wasn’t a good start! Ehhh, I think Weathers is better than this. He shouldn’t be going 0/19 slider whiffs.

José Quintana @ BOS (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 74 pitches.

Once again, the strikeouts appeared, but this time it wasn’t on the back of his curveball but instead his…fastball?! With 12 whiffs?! What is going on with Quintana? His four-seamer was impeccable at the top of the zone, something I simply haven’t seen from him before. Just look at it. You should be emitting a soft wow looking at that. I didn’t make a sound. Then I’m disappointed in you. BE MORE PASSIONATE ABOUT PITCHING. Anyway, imagine if he had both his curveball and fastball going on a given night, wouldn’t that be something.

Kenta Maeda vs OAK (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.

The pain. It never stops. It really is wild to see him have such poor CSW rates across the board, with none of his slider, four-seamer, or splitter return a CSW above 25%. The splitter was located well, his slider was…not what it used to be, and he nibbled too much with his heater. It just isn’t clicking, and we’re all tired of waiting. I stand by the idea that it will at some point but obviously with each start we’re reminded that our biological clocks are ticking like THIS. It’s up to you if you want to stash or not. Remember, if there’s someone on the wire who will help you, make the swap if you need it.

Shane Bieber @ SEA (L) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna…can we talk about Bieber’s WHIP this year? It’s 1.22 now with a .335 BABIP and I can’t help but think it’s a product of his fastball that is more hittable than we want it to be. Does that mean…Yep. Welcome Cole, you’re #1 tomorrow. It was ultra close last week, and I think this is just enough to make the swap.

Nathan Eovaldi vs LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 87 pitches.

His curveball and slider weren’t terrible, but his four-seamer was more hittable as he chucked it in the heart of the plate a bit too often. He’s a questionable play against the Phils because of it, but I’m down for the Marlins after, even if Duke Silver Jazz Chisholm is back.

Robbie Ray vs PHI (W) – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 112 pitches.

It’s getting pretty wild at this point. Ray is doing the whole “fastballs over the plate” thing, and finally we saw him mix in an effective slider as well, helping him earn his first Gallows Pole and the breaker had 12 whiffs. The problem? It’s making him super prone to gopherballs, allowing a trio here against the Phils. Yes, it was in Dunedin, but this has been his problem since making this his approach. I think it’s something that will improve over time, especially with this slider in his pocket now. Keep holding on, the ERA will get better while the WHIP and strikeouts should be lovely.

Adam Plutko vs NYY (ND) – 1.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 13% CSW, 24 pitches.

He opened for Bruce Zimmermannwho tossed 84 pitches and did a great job holding off the Bronx Bombers for just one ER across 5.2 frames, boasting six strikeouts as well. His changeup and slider had decent pitch separation, though that heater was a bit too erratic for me to think you should get busy with BZ. I’m gonna leave now.

Matthew Boyd vs CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

Despite having five slider whiffs, the pitch wasn’t back as he fought trying to locate it where he wanted to. Fastballs performed well in the upper third of the zone, though, as he paired them with…decent changeups. Not the same ones we saw in April, but good enough. I think you’re safe with Boyd against the Royals and Cleveland next, as I patiently wait for the day I can truly become a Boyd Boy again.

Chris Bassitt @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

Awwww, it was such a great run from Bassitt, and it came to a halt as let me know if you’ve heard this one he didn’t have anything else in his repertoire working outside of his sinker. Now he gets the Angels twice, and I think you’re okay starting him in both (he’ll have at least one game when it’s not like a fisherman with one lure and go solo sinker).

Marcus Stroman @ TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

Stroman, what is this. It’s the Rays, didn’t you know that?! His slider and cutter weren’t nearly as good as we’ve seen them, earning just 2/39 whiffs and reducing his strikeout ability to just one on the day. One strikeout! HAISTFMFWT?! Whatever, it’s Miami + Rockie Road next. This is supposed to be your dope time, don’t spoil it.

Huascar Ynoa @ MIL (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

It was only a matter of time before he got Singled Out after having such a lovely BABIP thus far. Am I worried about Ynoa now? Not at all as the skills are still there that slider is still filthy and it’s 97 mph heaters. Sorry for your Sundays that relied on Ynoa pulling through.

Chase Anderson @ TOR (L) – 1.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 56 pitches.

It was Chase. Inside Dunedin, “the new Coors.” What did you expect?

Game of the Day 

 

Madison Bumgarner vs Walker BuehlerBuehler should be an ace and maybe Bumgarner can too at 92+ mph.

 

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

 

Photo by Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons/flickr | 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 J.C. Mosier says:

    Well, since you asked … this guy’s definition of a streaming win:
    (a) a ND/L and a game score at least half a standard deviation above the mean (~55+); OR
    (b) a W and a game score no worse than half a standard deviation below the mean (~47+)

    Weaver had a 61, so that’s clearly a streaming win in my book.

  • Avatar Craig Swan says:

    Nick- have a tough call to make . Rampant injuries being what they are this season, I are in dire need to drop someone to replace Corey Seager. So, Zac Gallen.. I’d love to keep him stashed, but my gut is telling me he’s going to be shelved for a good long while. I, or course, could be wrong. I have a soild, deep pitching staff.. What do you think, about dropping Zac?

    • Avatar theKraken says:

      I dropped Gallen last week in a redraft. This is two injured stints in the first month.

    • Avatar theKraken says:

      Nick, it is time to stop worrying about long balls. There is no way that you don’t get how fluky they are in nature. A guy can go from one extreme to the other in a year. There are many factors that go into HR and the pitchers do not have much to do with them. You are better off looking at 1B if you want to look at a random batted ball sample. HR are as random as it gets. There are also realities like being really aggressive with nobody on can lead to HR… which are not really indicative of a problem. The only thing less valuable that HR are 3B allowed. You have to know this. Remember when DeGrom won a Cy based on HR allowed, then he gave it all back immediately the next year. It is not a skill although it can be a bit of a liability.

  • Avatar Joe says:

    No worries about Ynoa performing his >4 xERA and high LOB% of 90+%?

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    The Dodgers have achieved their real goal. No, its not a repeat WS – they have destroyed their staff enough to have zero starters in a game. Take a minute and think about how much the people running this organization have gutted it of talent. Lucky for them that they have a surplus to start but they are miles behind where there were a few years ago. Most young arms are both not being developed as SP and injured while they also have no depth. Bullpen is just a steaming pile of volatility. The offense has 2-3 scrubs in a given night. The good news is that the boys in analytics are putting on a clinic every night on how to turn a one-sided match-up into a competitive struggle. This organization had the talent for a dynasty and it is being run straight into the ground. This is a good time to realize that there are no more than 2 or 3 organizations that prioritize winning at all – the Dodgers are not one of those teams. Can you imagine where they would be without hired gun, Trevor Bauer? Think about that when you evaluate how bad this Dodgers franchise is doing with the talent that is rotting in their laps.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    I can tell you right now that McCullers isn’t an ace. The production would have to be much better to cancel out his very real track record of injury and inconsistency.

  • Avatar DWavy says:

    We now have three years of significant home/road splits for Pablo Lopez. I think he’s still “set it and forget it” regardless, but if you need ratios over counting stats seems you can limit his starts to the friendly confines of Miami.

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