LudaKris Speed

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

Kris Bubic @ CHC (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 92 pitches.

The last we saw of Kris Bubic was not a fun time. He allowed seven earned runs to the questionable St. Louis offense while earning just four outs and despite a lovely date in Wrigley, it was hard not to believe Bubic could take advantage. Well, we were wrong as he dominated via 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 92 pitchesIn short, yes, there was something here to latch onto moving forward.

Sure, we could point to the curveball and changeup each returning over 40% CSW as the curve went 8/26 called strikes and the slow ball earned a whopping 9/23 whiffs, but the real story here was a 1.5 uptick in four-seamer velocity, allowing him to get 65% strikes with the pitch and set up his secondaries safely. I’ve considered Bubic a work in progress through the year and I still believe there’s more to be done with his overall curve/change command, but if this velocity sticks, I can imagine him continuing his success against the Mariners up next. Think about it.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

 

Zac Gallen @ COL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.

Yessss. He went to Coors and attacked with four-seamers as he tried to figure out his secondaries. The answer became curves and sliders going 50% CSW across 20 thrown, but sadly, the cutter and changeup still aren’t really to go yet – the latter going just 1/9 CSW. Sure it was 7/9 strikes, but that’s supposed to miss bats galore and we’re not quite there yet. But hey, he battled, ended at-bats with breakers, and earned call strikes with four-seamers. That’s enough to start Gallen constantly (Phillies are next, yes please), I just hope the changeup comes back along the way.

Hyun Jin Ryu vs DET (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 105 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Great stuff from Ryu, who FINALLY did the thing I’ve waiting for him to do for ages – earn double-digit whiffs with his changeup as he went 10/29 whiffs on the pitch. I won’t get fooled again and believe Ryu now has this slow ball through the end of the year, but hey, maybe it will. You have to start somewhere. Let’s see if he can handle the White Sox next.

Gerrit Cole vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s really making a play for that #1 spot again and it’ll be hard to say no on Monday. We’ll talk.

Triston McKenzie vs LAA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.

The man is FEELING it right now with “it” being his slider and curveball down in the zone. The heater command was a bit all over the place, but that deuce went over 50% CSW with the slide piece earned 6/21 whiffs. This. Works. I wish he didn’t have to face Boston next time out, otherwise I’d be so down. He could still pull that off, you know.

Dillon Peters @ STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.

I’ll keep it quick. He’s a Cup of Schmo and I think Dillon will Peters out. At least you made it quick. The things I do for y’all.

Max Scherzer vs NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s our #1 SP, even if it was just five frames.

Jake Odorizzi vs SEA (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 100 pitches.

Ayyy atta boy Odorizzi. The Astros have such an easy schedule and it’s the right time for Jake to feel comfortable throwing strikes. Yes, this was all four-seamers getting it done as that splitter took a backseat once again. It’s how we like it.

Jordan Lyles @ BOS (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 100 pitches.

Wow, definitely one of the more shocking starts of the day. The slider was cooking against the Sawx, returning a 45% CSW and put him in a spot where luck could do the rest. It’s a Birthday Partydon’t do anything silly. We don’t see his slider like this often.

Joe Musgrove vs PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 99 pitches.

Excellent rebound from Musgrove, though I am shocked he kept the same approach from last week’s disaster – few sliders in favor of curveballs, fastballs, and cutters. It worked in a big way here, though, with a phenomenal hook thrown 41% of the time, while the four-seamer did plenty of work as well. I’m totally cool with this as long as the curveball is this good and featured so frequently, but I’m still shocked he’s moving away from the slider – that’s been one of the best sliders around this year.

Aaron Nola @ SD (ND) – 8.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 117 pitches.

What a start. Perfect through six, he allowed one unearned run through eight, and they still sent him back out there into the ninth, where on his 117th pitch, he allowed a two-run shot to Jake Cronenworthjust one out away from ending the evening. Brutal. That’s a Careful, Icarus if I’ve ever seen one. His fastball command was so dang good through the even save for that 3-1 pitch and that’s baseball. It just ain’t fair. At least he gets the Sneks + Nationals next at a time where we feel great about him so hopefully those starts keep up what he started he.

Kevin Gausman @ OAK (ND) – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 82 pitches.

Aces gonna blegh. This ain’t it. The splitter hasn’t been its elite self for about a month now (maybe longer…?) and while it’s difficult to keep the faith, all I can do is encourage that you do. It’s been his pitch for so long and this month looks like an outlier, not the new norm.

Wade Miley vs MIA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.

Blegh. I’m shocked Miley couldn’t make it through five frames, but that’s just how the water drains. That’s not a phrase. Yes it is, you know, like how water drains in a spiral into oblivion. And you feel that represents this start? …Yes??? How did Miley fail to perform well against the Marlins.

Kyle Freeland vs ARI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! That’s a King Cole for Freeland as he pitched in Colorado and I’m as stunned as you are. Ten strikeouts! 15 Whiffs! Freeland found his curveball and I didn’t even know he was looking for it. We’re talking 11/’30 whiffs as he chucked it 33% of the time, while his four-seamer earned called strikes and the changeup worked as a solid mix-up pitch. I’m shocked I found so much to like about this outing and I’m sad he gets the Dodgers next. If he still has these skills, circle his start against the Rangers as a solid streaming option.

Zach Thompson @ CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 73 pitches.

Ehhh, I’ll take it for a game inside Cincy. It was great watching his cutter look like its earlier self and perfect timing as he gets the Nationals and Mets next. I’m definitely more encouraged for those outings now.

Sean Manaea vs SF (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 96 pitches.

That’s a Gallows Pole from Manaea with his velocity back to 92/93 mph levels. Phew. The secondaries still need a touch of work, but we’re moving in the right direction, regardless of the middling line above. Hey, it was the Giants and the man was figuring some stuff out.

Keegan Thompson vs KC (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 73 pitches.

There isn’t a secondary pitch to earn whiffs (leading to a HAISTBMBWT?!) and his heater fell two ticks from when we saw it last. There’s nothing to chase here.

Wily Peralta @ TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 64 pitches.

Oh don’t you dare start this up again, Peralta. DON’T YOU DARE.

Luis Patino vs CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

Hey, that’s solid as h*ck! Patiño elected to really lean into that four-seamer, tossing it three-fourths of the time for a lovely 34% CSW. The slider? Yeah, no. We’re talking 0/12 CSW levels of “no”, forcing him to turn to a curveball ten times. The horror! I can’t quite buy this as it was so dependent on that heat,r sadly, but I’ll be watching the slide piece. If he can keep this four-seamer dominance and pair it with a legit slider, Patiño could be a blossoming stud.

J.A. Happ vs PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Eight strikeouts?! Jeeez, it was one of those days for Happ. His four-seamer was uncharacteristically tossed under 50% of the time, leading to 23 changeups and 15 sliders. Weird and yet it somehow worked (they aren’t good pitches). He’ll get them a second time and while I heavily doubt it’ll be close to this, there’s still a chance of it being productive for your squads.

Paolo Espino @ MIL (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 79 pitches.

At least it’s six strikeouts…? Yeah, you really shouldn’t be starting Paolo. At least he’s got the gig in deeeeep leagues.

Eric Lauer vs WSH (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

I see a start like this from Lauer and I can’t help but wonder if means Aaron Ashby could steal a potential rotation spot if Lauer acts like this constantly. Stop trying to make Ashby happen. It’s not going to happen. LET ME DREAM.

Drew Smyly @ BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.

The fastball velocity is still down (now at 91 mph) and the curveball was good but not excellent and…that’s a strong line. Sure, 3 ER ain’t ideal, but a 1.00 WHIP and eight strikeouts with a Win?! Hot dang that’s great from Smyly. That’s 111.0 frames from Smyly this season, if you can believe it, and he’s oddly been a Toby with occasional strikeout upside. And I mean a true fringe Toby that you heavily debate holding onto our night. Fortunately, that’s not the case now as he gets the Giants + Coors next. Phew, no stress.

Reid Detmers @ CLE (L) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 70 pitches.

Womp womp. Streaming Record: 75-56. Detmers wasn’t able to steal strikes with his curveball (1/9 CSW?!) but there were some nice four-seamers and sliders to take away from this as a silver lining – you don’t earn 15 whiffs and 36% CSW with poor stuff. The Padres have been struggling and may be worth the start next time, but likely just play it safe and aim for the Texas start after.

Rich Hill @ LAD (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 71 pitches.

Wait, you’re still rostering Hill? Why?

Matt Harvey vs ATL (L) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 97 pitches.

Yep, he’s still a thing. The Unwelcome Matt. I kid, I’m sorry Harvey, I’m sure this hasn’t been easy for you.

Kenta Maeda @ NYY (L) – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

Maeda left this one with a forearm injury as he’s set to get an MRI. Yeah, this is very bad.

Eduardo Rodriguez vs TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 68 pitches.

Wait what. Erod had his four-seamer command but nothing was there to support it and he got Singled OutI wouldn’t get spooked and avoid him against Cleveland next (the fastball was still excellent), but I feel for all ya’ll who needed more from Eduardo.

Dallas Keuchel @ TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 84 pitches.

Yeaaaah, you don’t want to play DK or this former fan is going to have to duel you. That seems awfully aggressive. The things I do for a terrible (and I mean terrible) joke.

Logan Gilbert @ HOU (L) – 4.2 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Oh no. Gilbert even earned some whiffs on sliders, but he got crushed by the Astros and that’s all she wrote. Wow, what a short book if it’s just one sentence. gasp IS THIS A BOOK?! What? No. Gilbert is a tough play right now given how he has to face the Astros twice again next week, but at least he gets the Royals before then and I’m in favor of starting Gilbert there. He’s not this bad, y’all know that.

Game of the Day 

 

Sandy Alcantara vs. Vladimir Gutierrez – I want to see Sandy survive in Cincy + Vladimir could continue his cushy schedule with more boring performances.

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 William Purnell/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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