Max Fried vs NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.
It was a rough April before Max Fried hit the IL, but since returning, he’s looked like the man Atlanta needs badly, continuing his leadership with a 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks line against the Mets. That’s a 1.00 WHIP and 1.59 ERA across his last three starts as his slider and curveball have looked like the pitches we want them to be. Curveballs at a fantastic 55% CSW as they landed frequently for strikes while his slider went 7/23 whiffs. It’s all coming together as planned.
I want to hand him the coveted AGA label, but I’ll be patient and wait a few more starts to make sure Fried has that breaking ball command for good. It sure feels like he’s there now, though, and it’s a wonderful thing.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Yu Darvish vs COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 81 pitches.
Aces gonna ace with a King Cole. The dude is simply unreal, you don’t need me.
Taijuan Walker @ ATL (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 33 pitches.
Walker left this one with side tightness, which would explain the near two-tick drop in velocity. Whoa, I suggest wrapping in a bandage, did he apply one? No, maybe he should Taijuan on. This is probably the worst joke I’ve made all year. YOU DON’T TIE BANDAGES, YOU WRAP THEM. Ahem, let’s hope Walker is okay and can make his next start against Miami.
Walker Buehler vs ARI (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 98 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Don’t dig the walks, but your WHIP doesn’t care, it’s fabulous. Good too see the slider + curveball earning some whiffs again.
Logan Webb @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 86 pitches.
Huh. I got excited last time out about Webb because his changeup was glorious and what we saw in the spring, though I was upset to see him get the Reds + 2x Dodgers ahead. Well, he certainly performed here against the Reds but…his changeup went 2/13 whiffs. Sure, it got outs and was located well, but it wasn’t the pitch we saw last time. Still, his slider was great at 38% CSW as he turned to it 34% of the time. I’m not sold on Webb as a sinker/slider arm with a decent changeup as his #3 pitch, however, and with the Dodgers next, I’m fine just ignoring this, especially when he left this one with shoulder soreness.
Casey Mize @ SEA (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 95 pitches.
This is a lovely start from Mize and I wish I saw more from it that pointed to proper hype. He got away with plenty of heaters over the plate (oh, Mariners), and while his splitter had its moments (read: one moment — 1/13 whiffs), the slider and curve did the actual work of a secondary pitch, and it’s just not enough for me to buy into starting Mize against an average lineup. Would you call the Royals average? Maybe? That’s a close call next time out.
Jordan Lyles vs NYY (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 85 pitches.
Hot Dang! Lyles’ slider reappeared for a tremendous evening via 7/28 whiffs and a 36% CSW + his curveball worked for 41% CSW, and the man outplayed the Bronx Bombers. Is it gonna stick? Nah, at least not against the Astros next. But this was cool.
Patrick Sandoval vs CLE (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 57 pitches.
Whoa, it’s the Irish Panda! And his changeup was legit! We’re talking 9/21 whiffs, though his four-seamer was poorly commanded either in the middle of the plate or well outside it. But hey, this was a cool moment, and I’m thankful for it. Maybe we’ll see him get more innings and show off a good slider next time if Cobb is still out. Sure, it’s not enough pitches to make it worthwhile, but this old man wants to see a young fella do some cool stuff.
Madison Bumgarner @ LAD (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 80 pitches.
The good news: He sat 91.5 mph and earned 33% CSW. The bad: This start didn’t help your teams as he departed after four with an undisclosed injury. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious and if it’s something that causes him to miss one start, well that would be Coors. That’s fine with me.
Adbert Alzolay vs WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 63 pitches.
The WHIP is lovely and it is a win, but the ERA and strikeouts are not. Blegh, I think that’s a loss for one ER too many. Streaming Record: 29-15. His slider just wasn’t the same at 2/27 whiffs while his fastball got outs but failed to overpower. He should get the Cardinals next, and I think I’m fine with that. He should do better than four whiffs and just 21% CSW, and hopefully pitching more than 63 pitches (Spoiler alert: He will).
Dallas Keuchel @ MIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 107 pitches.
Ayyy Keuchel got some strikeouts! And a lovely WHIP! And a win! And that ERA is okay! Nick, I saw the line too, yeeeeesh. Sorry sorry, just excited to see Keuchel actually do something good as he earned a ton of called strikes on sinkers and was able to live on the edge with his cutter. I still don’t love trusting you for a full year as you’re the Tobyiest of Tobys, but at least you’ve flexed your value.
Sonny Gray vs SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 87 pitches.
Uggggh. The key to Gray’s success is his breakers, and the curveball that has worked so far simply didn’t today. Meanwhile, his slider wasn’t ready to take on the burden and voila, disappointment in Cincinnati. Welcome to what it’s like being a fan. Ouch, sorry. I still feel as though Gray can easily get those breakers back, but with every start like this, we creep closer to the Morton/Maeda/Castillo discussion that we all just don’t want to have. Get it together Gray. The Brewers should be the perfect antidote for…whatever this is.
Yusei Kikuchi vs DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 96 pitches.
It started off rough with a pair of long balls in the second frame, but Kikuchi settled down and earned a Gallows Pole across six frames for the PQS. Phew. Fastball lost a step in the later innings, but was still 95/96 across the full game, while he earned whiffs across of his offerings. I’m digging this current Kikuchi enough to feel comfortable against Oakland next time out, but I do feel there’s a level of command he hasn’t quite hit yet.
Jon Lester @ CHC (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 76 pitches.
Lester returned to Chicago and reminded them why he left. His changeup was excellent in this one — 10/21 whiffs! — but I don’t think it’s sustainable as the rest of his stuff suffered. Cool to see 36% CSW, though.
Gerrit Cole @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 89 pitches.
Cole, I made you #1 today, can you please show a little respect? You can’t just allow your walks of the season + two solo shots and run into trouble in the second inning like that. And a runner stealing home? On your watch?! Not cool.
Jon Gray @ SD (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 96 pitches.
Well, this was the Padres and Gray is somehow historically better inside Coors than on the road, but just one strikeout?! HAISTFMFWT?! He’s sitting well near the bottom of The List today as I simply don’t enjoy the headache he induces, trying to determine which starts are worth his trust like I’m stuck in a CSI montage and the soundtrack is terrible. Come on CBS, I deserve a legit composer.
Sam Hentges @ LAA (L) – 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 54 pitches.
Funny enough, I made Hentges #100 today as a note of “hey, this kid ain’t so bad, I imagine he’ll actually be relevant at some point in the near future.” That certainly didn’t mean today as he got trucked by Ohtani and the Angels. Let’s forget about this for a hot moment.
J.A. Happ vs CWS (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 85 pitches.
Sigh. Happ’s struggles have continued (“HAISTMFWT?!”), clearly feeling like one of the Seven Dwarves. Is it Happy? What? No, Grumpy, clearly. How could you be happy after performing like this?! Even though it’s Cleveland + Baltimore next, I’m feeling bashful and sleeping on those starts, docking him a few points for his lack of whiffs on anything but his four-seamer. His stuff is nothing to sneeze at and is far from dope. If you’re still rostering Happ, it’s now white-whale season on the wire with many worthy prospects out there to stash instead. They could all be your holy grail instead of this poisoned apple. Are you done yet? Brushes off hands while whistling. My work here is done.
Game of the Day
Patrick Corbin vs Chicago Cubs – Please do it again. Please do it again. Please please PLEASE.
But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)