(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)
I said it after each of his last few starts and I’ll say it again. Jose Berrios looks lost. During his 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks start Thursday night against the Angels, Berrios didn’t earn a single whiff on 17 curveballs thrown – the money pitch that is supposed to be the gamechanger, while failing to get a single called strike or whiff on all five changeups. That means he had to rely on his heater to do all the work and, well, you saw how that turned out. When he was cruising in the opening weeks, his entire repertoire was gelling with movement and locations and now, well now even his velocity isn’t on his side, holding a 93mph heater after averaging 94+ the entire year. I’m not going to tell you that this can’t be fixed, but this is four straight starts of shrugs – tallying just 4 strikeouts in his last three – and you have to question what your gameplan is. He gets the Cardinals next and I’m all for giving him a rest until something changes.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Mike Foltynewicz – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhh alright. Only four whiffs total in this outing and a BABIP heavy success story against the Fish, but it works and we can call it a rebound after his last start.
Tyler Mahle – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. This is incredibly mediocre with just five frames and only two strikeouts, but I’ll take that dub with a 0 ERA and 1.40 WHIP all day from Mahle. I’m super undecided about how I actually feel about Mahle as his secondary stuff is really lacking, but he does an excellent job of moving his heater around the zone. I just can’t endorse more than as a Toby in 12-teamer with a short leash, but I really want to believe there is another gear at some point. Streaming Record: 23-12.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. I have to say, I’m impressed. It isn’t easy strolling into the Bronx and collecting 8 Ks with just one hit and 0 ER against the Yanks, but there it is. I benched him and it’s incredibly frustrating after getting bad luck in his previous starts we rolled with him that it all goes his way when we elect to give him a breather. Regardless, you should feel confident in Erod moving forward and I’m even considering giving him a sturdy Top 40 spot.
Zack Greinke – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Greinke doesn’t need your 91mph velocity.
Jordan Lyles – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Lyles is back in the Padres rotation and this is going to last just as long as Firefly. A full season! Wait…no…it will end way too soon.
Miles Mikolas – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. 8-Miles faced the Padres, 8-Miles performed as you expected. Atta boy.
Tanner Roark – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. We talk about Roark on the recent OTC podcast and I’m still wondering if his batted ball profile – 23.7% soft, 29.5% hard contact – is playing out just like his 2016 season where he boasted a 2.83 ERA despite a 4.32 SIERA. Either way, he’s not on your wire and if you own him, I’d imagine not many are looking to buy, so hold on tight.
Walker Buehler – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. I like him as the premier Spice Girl these days and the fella is cruising, with 70 strikes on 93 pitches here. It’s about time the Walker fans over the past four years got it right.
Jhoulys Chacin – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Jhoulys did this in Coors? Wow, Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. Seriously.
Mike Leake – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at that, it’s Leake’s ceiling! Oh great, now the roof is letting in the rain? I will never stop making this joke. Mike isn’t the worst of the worst, but I have a tough time telling you which nights he’ll show up and that makes him someone I’ll overall avoid in 12-teamers.
Caleb Smith – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I was hoping for Smith to put a stamp on his future by cruising through the hot Braves offense, but he got into plenty of deep counts and racked up 101 pitches with just one out in sixth. His last start featured a solid heater without the excellent secondary stuff we’d seen prior and this outing was more of the same…without as good of a fastball. It’s not time to jump off yet, but I do want to see a step forward next time out, even if the stat line isn’t great. Just show me more than 6 whiffs across 49 secondary pitches next time against the Dodgers.
Garrett Richards – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhh sure. I wanted to see more from Richards against the Twins, but zero walks made for a low WHIP and that ERA isn’t terrible. Okay it’s not great. I’d still trust Richards moving forward, though.
Vince Velasquez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. A PQS with 12 Ks and a 1.00 WHIP from VV? I will take that every day of the week and even if they made up a day called Frunday. The Giants struggled during this entire series against the Phils and I wonder if it exposed how they can’t handle four-seamers above 94mph – VV, Eflin, Pivetta. Anyway, it’s starts like these that inflate Velasquez’s numbers wildly, so play it game by game instead of trusting the whole data set. Also, enjoy your Gallows Pole with 16 whiffs to your name.
CC Sabathia – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. CC has been on a fantastic run, but this was against the Sawx and that was an easy pass. Play the matchups and this can turn out well.
Ty Blach – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This is what I should call a Ty Die. But I won’t because I’m better than that. Just like you’re better than actually rolling with Blach.
German Marquez – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 12 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He pitched in Coors against the Brew Crew – a team struggling offensively – and still paid the price. Just avoid Marquez unless it’s a really bad team on the road, like the Mets last time out.
Chris Tillman – 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. Say it with me y’all. You Can’t Spell Win With Tillman.
J. A. Happ – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. That’s two straight starts now where Happ has looked way off and I do wonder if this is something that can be easily adjusted or if he’ll continue on a downward descent. My gut says I’m hungry, while my instinct says Happ should rebound from this quickly. I understand wanting to drop or bench him, though I kinda think you’ll be fine starting him against the Mets.
Ian Kennedy – 4.0 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You ran with him to steal some strikeouts against the O’s and were met with Kennedy’s horrific floor. Ouch. This doesn’t change things with Kennedy, but this is sure to sting.
Andrew Suarez vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – He’s been pitching well in his first three starts of the year and it could carry over against the Pirates.
Zach Eflin vs. New York Mets – He’s had an extra two points of velocity in his last two starts, I’ll wager he keeps it again as he faces a weak offense.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Ivan Nova vs. San Francisco Giants – It’s ace day, leaving me only a handful of options. He’s right at the cusp of being called a streamer, but it’s Nova or nothing as I detest the other options.
Game of the Day