(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
How worried should we be about Rick Porcello? After tonight’s 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks, he’s allowed 17 ER in his last four starts combined, with 10 strikeouts across three of them. He got a bit Singled Out in this one, but just 20 CSW in 90 pitches and not even escaping the fourth frame tells a massive story. His slider wasn’t nearly as effective here – it hasn’t been in three starts – and I’m beginning to wonder if the magic is wearing down and we’re getting a closer look at 2017 repeating. I’m not ready to fully jump ship as he did have nine strikeouts last time out, but he’s definitely not attacking the zone and making batters uncomfortable like he did earlier in the season. The Thief should be falling to the late 30s on Monday, which dictates a hold, but he could fall farther still. It’s a bad situation, but I have to acknowledge his terrible floor exhibited across the entirety of 2017.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Steven Matz – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Is there a pitcher with more consistent boring stat lines than Matz? His 7.6% whiff entering last night is atrocious, making me believe his 8.23 K/9 is surprisingly inflated, and he’s still holding a 4.00+ BB/9. Please do yourself a favor and run far, far away.
Blake Snell – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Snell deserves it. Aces gonna ace. And this was against the Red Sawx! For the THIRD TIME! That’s a 2.78 ERA, 9.80 K/9, and a sub 3.00 BB/9, adding up to a near 1.00 WHIP. That’s luscious and all thanks to a shift away from changeups and to more breaking balls. Believe it.
Danny Duffy – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. In case you forgot, Duffy allowed 14 ER total in his previous two starts, 30 ER in his previous six. Yep.
Nick Tropeano – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Our call Boy was absolutely lovely against the Jays, earning a 30% CSW with 14 Whiffs on the back on his slider. I’ve called Trop a possible Toby this year and while I’m not totally sold that’s what we’ll get ROS just yet, he’s certainly beginning to look the part. Streaming Record: 29-17.
Luis Castillo – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I thought about leading with Castillo, but you guys have seen me do that enough. It wasn’t the fanciest of starts – just 10 whiffs in 90 pitches – but he cruised through the lineup, and now has five straight starts of 2 ER or fewer after starting the season with five straight starts of 3 ER or more. He’s close to being the man we thought he was.
Josh Lucas – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Lucas was the latest Rays “opener” and it feels so weird that I have to keep doing this. I need a term for this…Done Rays? Ex-Rays? I’ve got nothing tonight guys and I need your help.
Charlie Morton – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yeah, I know it’s not the greatest, but he’s not hurting your team and that’s a QS with a dub, 3.00 ERA, and five Ks. That helps.
Dylan Bundy – 9.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. It’s pretty ridiculous how tumultuous of a year it’s been for Bundy. Even with 21 whiffs here for a Gallows Pole + 14 Ks, a CG with a 0.33 WHIP, how much can we still trust him? You don’t have a proper answer and that’s the issue. Personally, I’m letting him fly forever now in roto, but you can’t get rid of the idea that maybe, just maybe, next time is when his fastball command falters and he gives you a 7 ER clunker. It’s in your best interest to let that idea die, though you have my sympathy.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. The Digglerx is back! And he actually came super close to winning a Gallows Pole because baseball is super weird like that. Just so you know, he’s a terrible choice for a long-term play – 12.7% strikeout rate in 69.1 frames last year.
Zach Davies – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It was a DLH…or was it? Well, yeah, but Davies isn’t someone you’d start anyway sooo…no? You didn’t do it. Good. Don’t do it next time. Good. I’m going to move on. Good.
Marco Estrada – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. I’m still waiting for Estrada to get it together like a Washington DC fan waiting for a ship. That ship’s name? Santa GiveMeADamnChampionship.
Felix Hernandez – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey Felix! Whaat. When was the last time you made fantasy owners super happy? I dunno, maybe back on April 15th? Yeah that sounds about right. Glad I can help. Well, you’re not. That’s kinda the point.
Ivan Nova – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You made a Grave Mistake and it hurts. I get it. Well, not really because I’ve learned my lesson by now, but I’m trying.
Mike Clevinger – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Clevinger earned his four strikeouts in his first four outs, then proceeded to fall apart against the Astros, especially in the fifth and sixth. It’s incredibly frustrating after handling Houston just fine last time, especially with just six whiffs after tallying 10%+ rates in each of his last seven starts. I still love ya, but figure it out, bud.
Lucas Giolito – 1.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. This is just so sad now. Just skip his start. Don’t demote him, just make him skip a start. Say he’s injured. Say he needs a mental break, whatever, just give him some time to get his shtick back without making him go through the slog of the minors again.
Ross Stripling vs. San Diego Padres – It’s a matchup made in heaven.
Daniel Mengden vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – I don’t expect this to last, but it’s rolling right now.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
German Marquez vs. Cincinnati Reds – It’s the Rocky Mountain Way to let Marquez roll against the Reds – even at home.
Game of the Day