Enduring The Skid Marquez
It’s about time we really talked about German Marquez, who couldn’t handle the undefeated Coors Field once again via 5.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks against the Padres. That’s a 4.57 ERA for the season with a 1.23 WHIP and you’re disappointed. Sad. Marquez was unreal during his stretch last year! Where did it go? Well, his curveball is still fantastic, but that slider, despite having near identical zone/o-swing/SwStr rates (all dope!), is inconsistent. It’s been hung up plenty often, has been used less frequently as a putaway offering, has doubled its HR/FB rate and allowed two more HRs despite over 200 fewer thrown, etc. You get the idea. Marquez simply can’t be the same guy until that pitch is the same weapon it was last year.
But here’s the fun part. When did Marquez start his fantastic run in 2018? In two weeks as it began on June 30th. Marquez had a 5.53 ERA with a 1.55 WHIP through his first 16 games last season. I know it’s a tough sell to say that someone will have the same breakout at the same time of last year. All I’m trying to do is ensure you remember that the ceiling is still there. The upside is still real and Marquez could turn it on at a moment’s notice. Consider this before flat out dropping him for whatever is on the wire. It’s a barren place out there at the moment, believe me, I know what the 50s look like on The List each week and I’m not happy about it.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Walker Buehler – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. No days off for Buehler this summer.
Chad Green – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. You see this Stanek? This is the dream. The dream. It was a full on bullpen game so like getting dumped for the first time in high school, let’s move on.
Sean Newcomb – 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Newcomb left this one after a scary incident getting a liner to the head. He’s passed all tests and sometimes you forget that this is just a game. There are more important things.
Gregory Soto – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. A walk an inning isn’t ideal, but the goose egg in four is cool. Obviously a Cup of Schmo, but I’m sure this feels great for the youngin’ so enjoy the moment, kid.
Yu Darvish – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. 37/109 CSW is lovely as he attacked the zone with cutters and the Dodgers were okay with it for whatever reason. I’m shocked how he made it through this start with just 9 sliders, but here we are. It’s weird, I don’t want to endorse it so heavily, but seeing 24/30 four-seamers for strikes is a fantastic thing. He really does love that dang cutter, it’s crazy.
Dario Agrazal – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I watched a good amount of this and had my friend Harris ask if he was worth our time. Dario? Nah, Harris. It’s a 92 mph sinker with meh secondary stuff, save for the rare slider that would work right. That’s a Cup of Schmo through and through.
Shane Bieber – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. This was an interesting one. Instead of just early fastballs, Bieber threw a ridiculous share of early sliders – 41/105 slide pieces total! – varying the pitch on and off the plate. The result was 38% CSW with 22 whiffs (Gallows Pole!) as he dominated the Tigers. Even 9/14 whiffs on curveballs as he nailed the bottom and under the zone with the pitch. It was pretty. My point with Bieber is if he’s feeling his stuff like this, regression won’t slam him in the face. It’s the Pivetta discussion with a guy that actually has a history of more consistency.
Dylan Bundy – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Guys, this is getting kinda nuts. Bundy survived the Sawx. The SAWX! Fastball velocity is a little low at 91 mph and change. Speaking of change, the slowball was decent at 7/15 CSW, helping push a 34% CSW for the day. But the WHIP is bad, the ERA is meh, and you’re wondering if this is really a pickup. I think if you’re hurting for starts this week, maybe the Seattle start is worthwhile. I can’t really jump on board until his fastball is at 92 mph and his changeup is in the fray effectively, but at least we’re this far.
Frankie Montas – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. He moving up on The List tomorrow, okay? How could he not? Whiffs on sliders and splitters here as he pounded the zone often and while I have a little hesitation with his splitter sticking around for a while, I can’t deny how sturdy he’s been. To the early 20s you go!
Tanner Roark – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Roark really toughed this one out with 31 foul balls in 116 pitches (and just 24% CSW…). Not a big fan in 12-teamers, but if you’re really hurting for options…wait until after the Brewers, okay?
Framber Valdez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I watched a good amount of this one and the Jays just couldn’t touch Valdez’s curveball. His fastball command is a bit blegh and I anticipate he’ll get burned against the patient Yankee offense, but I’ll take this and run. Streaming Record: 49-26.
Gerson Bautista – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Gerson opened for Wade LeBlanc whose 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks did little to eradicate the mess Gerson left. How could Gerson leave a mess? He was such a small part of the game! HEY! A GERSON’S A GERSON NO MATTER HOW SMALL! That joke again? It’s dear to me.
Madison Bumgarner – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Sure, I’ll take a PQS with six strikeouts from Bummy. It’s not pretty, but I really don’t expect a whole lot more from him this year. He’s just not that guy anymore.
Taylor Clarke – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Ah yes, another Taylor made start. Made out of nightmares. Jeez, that got dark. So are nightmares. Yeah, I get it. At least it was six strikeouts? But yeah, don’t run with Clarke. He’s not secretly named Kent.
Pablo Lopez – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. This seemed to be going south in the fourth frame, but PabLo pulled it together to give owners seven serviceable innings and…what’s this?! 16 whiffs?! His changeup was legit – 10/33 whiffs! – and solid fastballs around the edges helped plenty. The curveball…not so much at 3/18 CSW. Blegh. But I’ll take this as we continue to reluctantly place PabLo in our lineups.
Mike Minor – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Is this a misstep? If we’re calling a better than PQS a step backward, then we’re having a wonderful season, aren’t we? Cool to see his knuckle curve get in on the action here and generally being effective with everything for a 31% CSW.
Jose Suarez – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. His changeup got the spotlight again as he served us another Philly. I think there could be something here with Suarez, but he’s a bit raw at the moment and looks to be more of a Toby than a Spice Girl (haven’t said that in a while). There’s a floor that hasn’t shown itself yet.
Charlie Morton – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. The Quiet Ace allowed a three-run shot that ruined this one early, but nine strikeouts are nine strikeouts with a solid 1.17 WHIP. That’s what aces do, they always give you something to salvage.
Jimmy Nelson – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Remember when we were sad about Nelson last week since he was at 92.4 mph after the 94 mph we saw in 2017? This was 92 mph. And a blegh curveball, the pitch that made him legit during his breakout. Drop him. Just do it.
Jake Odorizzi – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s unreal how his heater is earning so many whiffs – 12 of his 13 came on four-seamers – but it really is all set up by the cutter that lands low and away to right-handers. It’s what we saw Nathan Eovaldi do effectively last year and while you’re sad at the 4 ER, this doesn’t really change anything. Just think Eovaldi’s 2018.
Glenn Sparkman – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The Electrician is struggling to figure out which orientation to insert the battery.
Noah Syndergaard – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Thor was removed with a hamstring injury and hasn’t commented on it yet. I’d guess this an IL stint given they haven’t tempered expectations. Performance wise, just three sliders at 90 mph so we’re still waiting there. What a disappointing season.
Reynaldo Lopez – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. He was looking good through three, then the wheels came off, including a Gleyber Torres jack that was on a decent pitch down. So it goes, he’s not going to pull a Giolito on us.
Aaron Nola – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Nooooooooooooooo. He ignored the top of the zone, earned just seven whiffs on 93 pitches, threw some bad changeups, went 3/29 whiffs on curveballs and I hate everything. Now there is good news. His fastball command was plenty better than in previous starts. He didn’t use the top of the zone well, though, and couldn’t put guys away with the deuce. He’s not so far away. There’s still hope, y’all. There’s still hope.
Clayton Richard – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! I watched this one for Framber and was constantly reminded of those wonky mechanics. Shudders. Oh, and just one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?!
Michael Wacha – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeaaaaah, if only Alex Reyes were pitching well in the minors. Seriously, that’s all I think about when seeing this Wacha line as I don’t want to touch him in 12-teamers at the moment. I feel bad that you have to begrudgingly run with him in your NL-Only. Blegh.
Stephen Strasburg – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Stras, NO. Five longballs allowed here, mostly on heaters as he did a poor job of nullifying the pitch. I wonder if we’ll see a game where he throws ~40% fastballs. His curveball and changeup are so good that I have to think he can own guys who are antsy on the heat. Why are you trying to fix him, Strasburg has been great this year! I know, I know, I can’t help myself. I just feel like we always have to endure these rough patches that turn a magical season into the current 3.75 ERA. In fact, he has zero games of exactly 3 ER thus far as he either has it or he doesn’t. There’s no compromise.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Chase Anderson vs. San Francisco Giants – I’m tempted to take the plunge on Peter Lambert, but he’s hosting the Padres and it makes for a low floor. There’s also Dakota Hudson against the Mets, but he’s actually just above the 20% threshold these days, same goes with Anibal Sanchez against the Diamondbacks.
Tommy Milone vs. Kansas City Royals – It’s wild that I’m endorsing Milone, but he’s fanned at least six in three of his four games and the Royals have been doing a lot of that lately.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Adrian Sampson vs. Cleveland Indians – I’ll take a shot on Sampson’s slider against the struggling Indians lineup.
Game of the Day
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire)