Gom In Sixty Seconds

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Austin Gomber vs MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 92 pitches.

It’s pretty dang amazing what Austin Gomber is doing in Colorado. Saturday night was a gorgeous performance from the southpaw, returning 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 92 pitches against the Marlins and wowing us all.

The secret here were his two breakers. The slider went 63% CSW across 19 thrown while the curveball wasn’t so bad itself at a 50% clip. This is crazy for a pair of pitches that combined for 38% total usage. The power of two dominant secondaries can form aces, though the focus then turns to his heater, which comes in at 91/92 mph and is nothing to write home about. That middling four-seamer is the primary worry I have for Gomber (especially in Coors!) and it will prevent him from being a legit Top 30 contender. But hey, with those ridiculous breakers, he can dominate the Marlins regardless of the park and hopefully blow through offenses through the end of the season. Let the man fly.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

 

Luis Garcia vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 85 pitches.

Yessss. See? He’s totally fine. So fine, in fact, that he earned a King Cole and looks like an ace again. Keep holding Garcia until we hear something about inning limitations. Let’s hope that’s never.

Nick Pivetta @ TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 76 pitches.

I’m stunned by this. Stunned. Pivetta got super lucky with BABIP and managed to one-hit the Jays despite tossing a ton of four-seamers in the middle of the zone. He didn’t even have his breakers working in this one. That’s baseball, Suzyn.

Ranger Suarez vs NYM (ND) – 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 61 pitches.

Cool to see Ranger continue to get stretched out for the Phillies, but 61 pitches in under three frames? Zero whiffs on pitches not labeled as fastballs? Yeah, this ain’t it.

Robbie Ray vs BOS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 86 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It wasn’t the best Ray we’ve seen, but hot dang is still just beautiful for your fantasy teams. It really is a wonderful thing.

Tyler Alexander @ CLE (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 62 pitches.

I’m pretty amazed he did so well given that the only pitch that worked was an 86 mph cutter thrown close to a third of the time. I really don’t see T-Lex as someone to trust and I’d ignore this start everywhere.

Charlie Morton vs WSH (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 85 pitches.

Just business as usual for Morton, though it’s his first start in five that came with fewer than 2 ER. That curveball was fantastic and the heater did what it’s supposed to. Keep on keepin’ on.

Carlos Rodón @ CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 89 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s back at 96 mph again and I’M SO HAPPY. That was a close one.

Brandon Woodruff vs SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s some lovely stuff there, Woody. Please don’t leave us.

Aaron Sanchez @ MIL (ND) – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 46 pitches.

Sanchez was announced to be returning to the pen, but Kevin Gausman was on paternity leave, forcing Aaron to make a “start” – it was just 46 pitches, after all. I doubt we’ll see him start much more, but if we did, I wouldn’t consider Sanchez. He just doesn’t bring enough to the table.

Vladimir Gutiérrez vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Not a whole to report here, Gutiérrez is acting as a decent streamer against meh teams and that’s a cool thing. Sadly, Atlanta is next and I think they’re a little above the fold and are too dangerous for Vlad over here.

Josiah Gray @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 82 pitches.

It’s beautiful. I gave Gray a bunch of criticism last time out for what I perceive to be questionable mechanics that could speak to his below-average command and few whiffs. I couldn’t be happier to tell you that I was clearly wrong and getting into my own head. That’s a Gallows Polefueled by a ridiculous curveball that went 11/23 whiffs + a heater he elevated for six whiffs of its own. He’s doing a bit of the BSB and there’s still room for growth (he needs to be a bit lower on the breakers & find the zone when needed with his four-seamer) but yeah, his stuff is too good and the command I was worried about isn’t as poor as the possible danger I suggested. Get amped for the following weeks.

Tanner Houck @ TOR (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 74 pitches.

The main news here is that Houck had to be sent back down to the minors as he was only allowed to pay a visit for the doubleheader and hasn’t hit the minimum demotion time to get called back up. Don’t worry, he’ll likely miss one more week, then get the call to replace Martín Pérez or Garrett RichardsI sure hope he can go at least five frames when he does, though. Anyway, it may shock you he didn’t earn a single whiff on 24 sliders in this one. Crazy, I know. Super glad to see the fastball kept him afloat instead in this one.

José Berríos vs BOS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

That’s two straight great impressions he’s given his new crew north of the border, both times with a fantastic curveball. I’m not sure that pitch is going to last through the next eight weeks, but it’s sure fun when it’s around. Berríos is doing his darndest to push ahead of the decent-but-not-great ratios of old and maybe, just maybe, this is the year.

Taylor Widener @ SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 89 pitches.

There’s that fun upside Widener can bring to the table with changeups going 6/17 whiffs + his heater finding the edges effectively for 15 called strikes. It’s not enough for me to trust him for another go against the Padres, but it’s cool to see the ability is still there in a desperate situation.

Kwang Hyun Kim vs KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 83 pitches.

The slider was solid, but the rest was pretty dang mediocre and Kim couldn’t slide through innings as we’ve seen in the past. That’s two straight disappointments from Kim, but I imagine he can get back on track in a repeat matchup versus the Royals. It’s rare you get to try again and I trust Kim to make the adjustment.

Eli Morgan vs DET (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 88 pitches.

The velocity is still around 91 mph, but the strikeouts weren’t flowing. He earned a good amount of called strikes instead of whiffs with his slider and changeup and when Detroit swung, they were able to make a good amount of contact. I’m generally not a believer in Morgan being a legit arm for your 12-teamers – the stuff just doesn’t wow me – but there are moments where it can work. Next week against the A’s is not one of them.

Adbert Alzolay vs CWS (L) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 90 pitches.

First it was a new cutter, now he ditched that and managed to earn seven whiffs on changeups. Wat. Yeah, I know. I’m shocked too. Hey, at least he’s figuring stuff out to add to the repertoire and help him be more than just a “great slider, meh heater” guy. Now he gets the Brewers and consider me intrigued. That could definitely work if he has this slow ball again.

Michael Pineda @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 102 pitches.

This is pretty dang good for Pineda against the elite bats of Houston. The rule still applies – opponent doesn’t matter, feel for his slider does. He had his slider (not its best, but good enough) and the man was able to pound the zone with four-seamers. That can work. It’s not the best matchup against the Rays next week, but that’s considerable since I’m following the dang rule I just told you about.

Julio Urías vs LAA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 95 pitches.

This is fine…? Maybe? That WHIP hurts and you want a bit more from the ERA/strikeout department to feel better about it. He sure didn’t have his best stuff, though, so props to him for making it still somewhat work despite the circumstances.

Cole Irvin vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 92 pitches.

Irvin does as a Toby does. It sure doesn’t leap off the page, but we’ll absolutely take this. He gets the future Guardians next and I think I’d continue the party there.

Yu Darvish vs ARI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. THANK YOU. It’s about dang time we had a legit start like this from Darvish, who had his best slider (55% CSW!) and featured it 33% of the time. That’s how it’s done and you better not relapse in your next outing. We need you.

Jaime Barria @ LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 89 pitches.

The slider was legit with 11 whiffs and all he needed was one other strong offering to make this a magical game. Narrator: They let him down. He had to settle for a PQS and that’s likely how it’s going to be. Hey, I’ll take that against the Dodgers any night from Barria.

Shane McClanahan @ BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 92 pitches.

The velocity is still down 1.5 ticks, but the man threw seven frames! With fantastic sliders and curveballs! I’m still sitting here in adoration and I’d be shocked if you aren’t, too. Shane is destined for greatness.

Chris Flexen @ NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

This was peak Flexen and it still returned poor ratios (albeit, with seven strikeouts). I really wouldn’t suggest holding onto him, I think he’ll continue hurting more than help through the final weeks.

Spenser Watkins vs TB (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 97 pitches.

Yeaaaaaah, he’s the right-handed J.A. Happ and that’s not a compliment. You don’t want this.

Tylor Megill @ PHI (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 79 pitches.

Awwww. His changeup and fastball were solid, but the breakers weren’t there to get solid strikes. I normally wouldn’t worry, but he gets the Dodgers next and I don’t want that start. If there’s a solid play to make in the meantime instead, I’d consider it. Megill isn’t a necessary arm for September. A good one, but not vital.

Mitch Keller @ CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 100 pitches.

I mean, when was the last time we saw a start from Keller that seriously got us excited? Ummmm. Exactly. Nothing to see here y’all.

Andrew Heaney vs SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 109 pitches.

The fastball was great, everything else was not. He’s still a Cherry Bomb for now and while he may already have changed something since donning the pinstripes, nothing jumps out to me here. I’d be careful and only consider Heaney if I was dire for Ks.

Brad Keller @ STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

Womp womp. I’ll say, I kinda dig how much he’s leaning into his slider as he tossed it 44% of the time for a whopping 45% CSW, but his fastball is getting too dang beat up. There’s potential here, though. Just get the heater back in line.

Drew Anderson @ OAK (L) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 60 pitches.

It’s not how he Drew it up. Ha ha. Very funny Nick. I’m not laughing, this is a rough outing with a horrific HAISTBMBWT?! that I take zero joy from. Oh. Nah, I’m joshing ya, Drew ironically wasn’t able to paint in this one. OH YOU.

Jesus Luzardo @ COL (L) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 81 pitches.

Uh oh. On one hand, this was Coors and we weren’t in a place where we felt comfortable with Luzardo anyway + he had a bit of bad luck against him + his curveball was actually kinda dope at 39% CSW. On the other, his four-seamer went 0/15 CSW and his sinker wasn’t a whole lot better. The Cubs are next and I’m slightly encouraged by how well his hook performed, but yeah, get that fastball in check, will ya?

 

Game of the Day 

 

Yusei Kikuchi vs. Luis Gil I hope Kikuchi has the velocity + Gil has his command.

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

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Photo from Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong 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.

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