Logan Gilbert vs NYY (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches.
After an MLB debut that came with a great fastball and not much else, I was sitting on my hands, patiently waiting for Logan Gilbert to have a day where one of his slider, curveball, or changeup truly took the step forward. We’ve seen hints of it in the past, but it wasn’t until tonight’s 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks (18 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches) did we see something take shape. And it was glorious.
That pitch? An 82 mph slider he tossed over 30 times for a 41% CSW and 11 whiffs. Gilbert was able to keep the pitch down and glove-side constantly, while his heater sat 95/96, even touching 98.6 mph across seven strong frames. It’s a start to make you excited, especially when his fastball has been successful and his complementary pitches haven’t been the ideal pairing along the way. Tonight was a glimpse of what could be if he develops consistency and who knows, maybe it’s already here. The All-Star break is ahead and we’re not quite sure when Gilbert will pitch next, but if it’s against the Angels (and not in Coors, yeeesh, Gilbert may now be in a place where he can handle it.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Adrian Houser vs CIN (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.
I get the feeling people are going to quote Houser allowing “0 ER in his last start” when he went just 4.1 frames with a horrendous WHIP. This hurts more than helps. I’m not one to believe that Houser can be legit for 12-teamers with just fastballs and this start gave no indication he’s close to that point. Consider other pitchers for your squad.
Zach Eflin @ CHC (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.
Atta boy Eflin. We saw 17% curveballs in here too – GASP – and they helped for 8/16 CSW, while the slider did work at the bottom of the zone, per usual. It was Eflin at his peak, really, save for a bit more whiffs to push up the strikeouts. Keep on treating him like a glorified Toby and everything will be fine.
Danny Duffy @ CLE (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 77 pitches.
He was limited to sub 80 pitches and I’m thrilled he was able to go five frames with them…however a 1.40 WHIP without a Win certainly hurts. What’s worse is his 93 mph velocity (not 94/95) and he’s beginning to lose some of his shine. The lower velocity + Royals helicoptering = Duffy ain’t up to Snuffy. It’s simple math.
Julio Urías @ MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 101 pitches.
Ahhhh, there he is. All three pitches were working and he avoided the heart of the plate with heaters and tossed changeups and curveballs around the plate. Don’t you dare fall out of rhythm.
Frankie Montas @ HOU (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 95 pitches.
Wait what?! A Golden Goal from Montas?! Against the Astros?! WITH TEN STRIKEOUTS?! His splitter and slider were both crazy good – both sat above 45% CSW – and his sinker dominated the edges. The man found a way to avoid the heart of the plate and live along the border of the zone and it was as good as I’ve ever seen Frankie. Seriously, look at this plot, it’s crazy. It legitimately may be the best plot I’ve seen all season from any pitcher in the majors. So sure, this was well deserved, the only question is if he’ll do it again. I’d say unlikely, but if he has a feel for any of these pitches next time, he should turn out okay. I’m all for it.
Lance McCullers vs OAK (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 107 pitches.
He was overshadowed by Montas’ dominance, but I was stoked to see McCullers steal so many strikes with sliders, especially on a night where he didn’t have his best curveball. It’s why the slider is such an important addition. Keep on keepin’ on, Lance.
Jake Faria vs COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 86 pitches.
Solid work from Faria who was able to take advantage of Rockie Road. His arsenal isn’t the stuff of old, but it was cool to see some nice splitters in the mix. No, this outing doesn’t mean Faria is on the streaming menu – I’m not a big enough fan of his repertoire.
Tarik Skubal @ MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.
It’s a PQS, but it’s worth it, especially against the solid Twins crew. I’m a bit disappointed in his changeup – 0/19 whiffs – but his slider did great work at 60% CSW across 15 thrown and should keep you very much interested.
Tyler Mahle @ MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 103 pitches.
The ratios sure aren’t pretty and you’re asking yourself if the strikeouts were worth it. Well…um…I’m not su–You’re a fiend for Ks, don’t you dare act like you hated it. FINE. The man earned a 43% CSW on four-seamers with 13 whiffs, he’s fine. Just needs to focus and not lose so many batters in the future.
J.A. Happ vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 102 pitches.
Hey, it worked…? Streaming Record: 55-40. Yeah, he gave you a dub and eight strikeouts at better-than-VPQS ratios. I’m impressed that Happ was able to get so much out of pitches not named his four-seamer in this one, as his changeup earned four whiffs and…fine, his sinker earned five. Does that really count? Eh, probably not. Anyway, I don’t expect this to repeat, so you can send him back to the wire.
Sandy Alcantara vs LAD (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 98 pitches.
Blegh. It’s frustrating to watch as y’all know I adore the stuff but there is one more major step Sandy needs to take in harnessing his repertoire. It should be obvious given how he needed 98 pitches for just 12 outs as he couldn’t quite execute his pitches to shorten at-bats. Another wrinkle on a page of his biography, something we’ll all forget about shortly. Keep starting him.
Chi Chi Gonzalez @ ARI (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 70 pitches.
I was wondering if this could be a sneaky start for both pitchers here as Arizona & Rockie Road are two, how do I put this lightly, bad offenses. Chi Chi was as good as you could hope for, which in the end was terribly mediocre as you’re happy you left with a Win and five strikeouts. No reason to get sucked into this CCG.
Jordan Montgomery @ SEA (L) – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 105 pitches.
It was a rough opening pair of frames with two pitches finding the bleachers, but The Bear settled down and ultimately did what we wanted with his curveball and changeup, earning 10 whiffs between them. There’s still a bit of polish to apply – his fastball command and overall consistency of his breakers could use a boost – but it’s starts like these that remind us why we’ve considered JorMont for our rosters for so long. There’s a good chance he faces the Red Sox out of the All-Star break, though, so you’re safe putting him back on the wire now.
Zach Plesac vs KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 55 pitches.
We only saw 55 pitches and the quantity was…actually pretty good. Sure, poor ratios, whatever, I’m digging 11/32 whiffs across sliders and changeups as Plesac sat 94 mph on his heater. He even flicked some curveballs for 4/5 strikes and that’s cool too. I’m on board for when Plesac is fully stretched out once again – I’d say he hits 90+ pitches in three starts from now.
Adbert Alzolay vs PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 73 pitches.
Blegh. That ERA hurts and you’re a bit frustrated – understandably so – but his slider is doing great things and I have to believe Alzolay will soar in the second half. He even introduced a cutter in this one which…I don’t love. 2/17 CSW as it earned foul balls and it only returned outs in the field (in other words, it returned 14/17 strikes!) but he floated so many in the middle of the zone that shockingly didn’t get punished. I’m not sure I buy those results moving forward. So in short, and this may sound weird, I’d want Alzoaly to throw the pitch that had good results less often and more of the pitches that didn’t go his way today. You know that isn’t going to happen. Shhhhh, a man can dream. At any rate, I still believe his slider is good enough to make him a general hold in 12-teamers, but that doesn’t mean you should keep your eye off the wire.
Yu Darvish vs WSH (ND) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 64 pitches.
Aces gonna blegh. I’m looking at you too, Scherzer. Darvish tossed far too many hittable pitches here and the man got burned. Womp womp, it was just a One Night Bland, don’t do anything silly.
Max Scherzer @ SD (ND) – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches.
Aces gonna allow a grand slam to a reliever who never had a hit before on a two-strike pitch located out of the zone with two outs. So what you’re saying is Scherzer was one pitch away and in all the other parallel universe simulations of the game, he gets out of it? Wow, you understand me so well. I try.
Game of the Day
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
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Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare