Do Not Pass Joe

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Joe Ryan @ CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

After an MLB debut that left us wanting more (read it all here in Ben Palmer’s great GIF Breakdown!), Joe Ryan took his four-seamer heavy approach and tweaked it slightly to dominate the future Guardians via 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches. We saw sliders, curveballs, and changeups in the mix, while four-seamers did all the heavy lifting in the upper-armside quadrant of the plate.

I do not think this is super legit and Ryan is not a must-add for your playoffs. That fastball seems to be over-performing a little at 92 mph and the secondaries aren’t dazzling to suggest a worthwhile backup plan when the fastball doesn’t handle things so neatly. At the same time, Ryan has three starts left: CLE, @CHC, DET. Yeah, that’s a gorgeous schedule, from a pitcher who can get outs with his fastball and is allowed to toss at least…Looks upseven frames. That’s right, Mr. Ryan is acting like a Toby and we start Tobys against those teams. Let’s hope he can pull it off thrice more.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

 

Sean Nolin @ ATL (ND) – 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 13% CSW, 8 pitches.

Nolin was ejected for tossing at Freddie Freeman and that’s that. Don’t throw at Freeman, y’all, he’s the coolest dude there is.

Shane McClanahan @ BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 68 pitches.

McShane has one of the worst ROS schedules out there and started his four-game gauntlet with class as he survived the Red Sox. It wasn’t the overpowering game we normally see – just 1/30 fastball whiffs, for example – but he made it work. Glad to see the heater sit 96.3 mph in this one. It’s the Jays twice + Astros to end his season and as of now, I’m still starting him.

Nathan Eovaldi vs TB (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

Great work Eovaldi, you may get the award of “pitcher I vastly underappreciated through the year”, with your curveball once again showing up via eight whiffs and 43% CSW. This was his toughest matchup as he gets four weak teams the rest of the way and all I can wonder is where he’ll be drafted next year. I’m willing to bet I’ll still be out, but I’ll save that conversation for later.

Mike Minor @ BAL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ayyyy he pulled it off against the Orioles. This is Minor’s first start under two earned runs since July 20th and the only start without a single earned run all season. We haven’t seen him lock in like this for a bit and 40% CSW between his slider and changeup was a joy. It’s just one start, though, and even with those great secondaries, he returned just three strikeouts. I wouldn’t chance it against the A’s next.

Rich Hill @ MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 46% CSW, 83 pitches.

Not to be outdone by Sandy, Hill elected to earn his own award with blackjack and something else, grasping a King Cole via a stupid good 46% CSW. Savant is suggesting he tossed a 69.7 mph slider 14 times in this one, but I’m not buying it – that’s just his curveball with a Bobby Valentine disguise. Either way, he earned 12 whiffs on breakers and carved through the Marlins lineup like buddah and we’re all thrilled about it. Now it gets a little trickier with the Cardinals + Phils next, but honestly, you’re starting him and that’s fine with me.

Sandy Alcantara vs NYM (ND) – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks – 27 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 114 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a Gallows Pole with a ridiculous 27 whiffs on the night. Have you not fallen for Sandy yet? His slider is taking shape as we saw another game where it became his most used pitch (37%!), and everything was working here. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but he sat 99 mph on his fastballs, topping out at 101.5 mph. 101.5 MPH. Yes, I’m drafting him everywhere in 2022. Duh.

Freddy Peralta vs PHI (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 81 pitches.

I’m glad we saw Peralta for 81 pitches, but he last just 3.2 frames as he tossed a chunk of hittable heaters and plenty far from the zone. He’s turning into Professor Chaos. It’s not what you want, but you obviously have to see this through to the end.

Yu Darvish vs LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 99 pitches.

PHEW. Darvish was able to survive in the zone with cutters, sliders, and four-seamers, which should come with little surprise given a date with the Angels. A date with the Angels? Okay, I know that sounds like a drama discussing dark topics, but I promise, it’s not what it looks like. Listen here Johnny, you’ll take care of the Robinsons for me or you’ll be having a date with the Angels. Jeeeeez, I get it. Anyway, I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet with Darvish – he gets the Giants, Dodgers, and Atlanta in three of his final four starts – but we’re feeling better about this one now…right?

Frankie Montas vs CWS (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

And Montas just keeps on destroying. The splitter went 6/22 whiffs, the slider earned strikes, and the sinker pounded the zone. Like Webb, don’t you dare stop starting Montas on your teams. Even against the Astros? EVEN AGAINST THE ASTROS.

Triston McKenzie vs MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

It may surprise you, but I didn’t like Triston’s command in this one. His slider and curveball rarely landed where he intended and the fastball had control (i.e. it sat in the zone frequently), he didn’t command it super well. But hey, it worked and he gets the Twins a second time. That could go either way – either the Twins still can’t handle his wonky locations and/or McKenzie steps up….or it’s more of the same approach and the Twins can handle it a second time around. Let’s hope for the former.

Matt Manning @ PIT (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 52 pitches.

Manning left this one early after taking an arrow a comebacker to the knee. He was actually pitching better than expected until then and I feel bad he had to be removed when he was in a good place. That’s baseball, Suzyn.

Vladimir Gutiérrez @ CHC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.

You’d think with a line like that, Vlady over here would have his fastball command back in order. Narrator: He did not. But hey, that’s what makes a great schedule so good – there’s more opportunity for success. I am a bit worried about that heater, but now it’s Pittsburgh x 2. You gotta start him there.

Alec Mills vs CIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 73 pitches.

Atta boy Mills, plodding away slowly and steadily through the year. It’s all neutral starts now – @PHI, MIN, STL, @STL – and I can see a world where you keep starting him through it all. Crazy, I know.

Touki Toussaint vs WSH (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 62 pitches.

Blegh. He was pulled in the fourth after a solo shot from Josh Bell + a pair of walks and it’s not what you want. The curveball was featured just 18% of the time (why?!) and you have to wonder if holding onto Touki is worth it. It’s Rockie Road next and it’s awfully tempting, but if the man can’t go 75+ pitches while his best pitch is thrown just 11 times in a start, how good can that be?

Kohei Arihara @ ARI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 69 pitches.

Kohei is trying to be Tobybut you can’t really be that when you’re not stretched out yet. Maybe after one more start we can begin considering the possibility. Let’s talk then.

José Urquidy vs SEA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 70 pitches.

It’s the worst but it sure doesn’t help. Urquidy did have a little more to offer in a changeup and slider (0/9 CSW on curveballs, though) and hopefully he can go 80+ pitches next time out. Like the whole Houston squad, he has a lovely schedule ahead and it makes gambling on Urquidy worth your time.

Mike Mayers @ SD (L) – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 34 pitches.

Oh hey, a bullpen game. And none rejoiced.

Luis Gil vs TOR (ND) – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 1 Hits, 7 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 91 pitches.

I had my hesitations about starting Gil against the Jays but jeeeeeeez I didn’t expect this. Seven walks?! No wonder he didn’t last four full frames. I can’t help but wonder if this is it for Gil this season after a chaotic start like this one, but if he does start again, it could be the Twins or Orioles. I think you’re okay starting him for either, but I don’t think you have to hold him for the possibility.

Kyle Gibson @ MIL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 103 pitches.

Ahhhh dangit. Gibson has such a lovely schedule to finish the season and after his stumble against the Marlins, he’s acting like he’s stuck in a Monty Python sketch as he struggles to stand up again. Sadly, we are all not the canned laughter. We are the annoyed person standing above him, without a sliver of joy. This is no time for laughter. There’s a chance Gibson finds his stride next time against the Cubs and I’d still consider it, but this is such a tough call. Good luck.

Luke Weaver vs TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

Blegh. This doesn’t do a whole lot for ya as Weaver is facing the same problem he’s had for a while now – he needs a third pitch to earn strikes as the fastball/changeup combo isn’t enough for consistent success. Hopefully he can find it, but it’s about to get brutal: He faces the Dodgers, Atlanta, then the Dodgers a second time. Ouch.

Jon Gray vs SF (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 87 pitches.

Gray had his slider working like the old days + a 95/96 mph heater, leading to eight punchouts as he made the most of dealing with the Giants in Coors. It does seem like the forearm injury is behind him now, but I’m still not sure I’d start him in Atlanta next time out. It’s a little too risky for me, but hey if you need strikeouts, this could work.

Anthony DeSclafani @ COL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 79 pitches.

Despite taking down the Dodgers last time out (finally!), Tony Disco’s schedule is still abhorrent and likely not worth your time. He did everything he could here, featuring a solid slider and a high CSW four-seamer, and still, it just doesn’t matter. It’s the Padres twice + Atlanta + Coors again to end the season. You don’t want this.

Matt Harvey vs KC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 74 pitches.

Oh. Hi Harvey. You’re still around here, eh? Cool, cool. Yeah, life n stuff. Welp, see ya later.

Alek Manoah @ NYY (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 101 pitches.

It was a tough choice to sit or start Manoah and he served up a Philly, one out away from a PQSIt’s not helpful, but it’s not dire, either. I’d keep starting Manoah and hope for the best (psssst, I need more than…zero-out-of-twenty whiffs on your slider).

Adam Wainwright vs LAD (W) – 8.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 104 pitches.

Awwww. This has Careful, Icarus written all over it as the Cardinals allowed Waino to pitch the ninth, where he allowed a trio of singles with two scoring. He’s still crushing with that curveball and there’s no reason to pull back our love now.

Mitch Keller vs DET (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

Womp womp. There was a chance Keller would be able to build off his last start, but this just wasn’t meant to be. Sigh. I remember being so excited after the unlucky 2019 September month. So much potential. So much potential…

Mitch White @ STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 65 pitches.

It wasn’t the worst, but he was unlucky and that ERA hurts. I think he can still act as a streamer as his curveball and slider are good enough to get by + the fastball isn’t a detrimental offering. Now he’s lined up for the Sneks + a date in Cincy and I’m okay with the first, but definitely not a road start against the Reds. That just doesn’t work.

Tyler Anderson @ HOU (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

We knew the run would end when Tyler faced a legit opponent and the Astros appeared, slamming their fists into their palms. And now it’s Boston + Oakland. We’ll talk in two weeks, Tyler.

Dallas Keuchel @ OAK (ND) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 94 pitches.

Are you still rostering Keuchel? Why?

 

Game of the Day 

 

Carlos Hernández vs. John Means I’m excited to watch more of Carlos + Means could take another step forward to returning to his April self.

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 EST Monday through Friday.

Featured image 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 pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar RichiePoo says:

    If Ryan starts this coming Monday and then later in the week, doesn’t he face the Yankees and Blue Jays?

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