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Sean of the Dead

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Sean Manaea @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Sean Manaea is completely toast after he had his third straight disaster via 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches against the Rangers, but I won’t tell you he’s in the clear. His sinker came in under 92 mph for another start + he placed sinkers right in the heart of the plate and I feel like you don’t need me to tell you that’s not what we’re looking for from Manaea.

Expect a drop for Manaea tomorrow as we wonder when that fastball velocity will return, making the sinker “that” pitch, once again. It pains me so much to do so as he was one of the shining stars of this 2021 season, but we have to recognize that after three straight starts of a worsening heater, we may have to accept that Sean’s time as an elite starter is ending in front of us. Here’s to a wonderful rebound next time out against the…Giants?! Oh no, why is it that when I really want a struggling pitcher to do well, it’s always a strong opponent? I can hear “the next start” taunting me as I scour the starting pitcher grid as I mutter to myself, “Ugh, they might be Giants.” I’ll be here all week, enjoy the buffet.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

 

Triston McKenzie @ DET (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 106 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! McKenzie had a perfect game until the final batter of the eighth on his 100th pitch of the outing. Unreal. His curveball was legit at 8/22 whiffs + his slider mixed in a well among the flurry of called strikes from his fastball. We’re talking 70 four-seamers thrown here, located well at the top of the zone. It was a legit BSB as it paired with the low breakers (did I mention how legit that curveball was?), and if McKenzie can maintain this approach, he’ll return strong outings regardless of the opponent. That’s a big IF, though, and we’ll closely pay attention.

Craig Stammen @ ARI (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 33 pitches.

Ah yes, the famous bullpen game. I’m glad we were about to see a CS major here instead of his minor form. Really set the tone for the day.

Eduardo Rodriguez vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

Yesssss. Eduardo had his fastball cruising + a cutter that earned called strikes along the way. The changeup was…meh, but whatever, he had the heater and that destroyed a meh Orioles lineup. Texas is next and that should be lovely.

Steven Matz @ SEA (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 95 pitches.

Solid stuff here from Matz as he did his job against an underwhelming Mariners lineup. Nothing all too special tonight (in fact, he was 1.5 ticks down on his velocity) and I think he can do it one more time against the Tigers next.

J.A. Happ @ KC (W) – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.

Am I glad Happ did well? Yes, you could even say I’m…feeling like JA Rule. Oh, I totally thought you were gonna say “happy”. Well that would have been good to tell me before I wrote the other thing. But you can just go back and edi–Nope, already in the book.

Charlie Barnes vs TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 73 pitches.

After fanning 1-2-3 in order across his last three, I’d be lying if I wasn’t sad he couldn’t earn one more strikeout here. We’ll be wishing he struck out more batters a whole lot more in the future with his sub 90 mph heater, though, and while I’m happy he was able to go a full five frames here, we all know he ain’t what you want. This isn’t double stuff, it’s not up to snuff.

Eric Lauer @ PIT (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 72 pitches.

Lauer returned from COVID and was halfway decent against the Pirates, even collecting six strikeouts in just 12 outs — that’s 50% of his outs as punchouts! — but I don’t care. Why? Because Lauer’s return means Aaron Ashby is less likely to return to the rotation this week AND THAT’S NOT RIGHT. Free Ashby, y’all, let’s the man feast.

Dillon Peters vs MIL (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 75 pitches.

It’s a 91 mph fastball and a decent changeup. That’s. It. Don’t ground yourself into this DP.

Elieser Hernandez vs CHC (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 82 pitches.

Elieser hath returned and helped managers plenty by going 5.1 frames across 82 pitches (more than I expected) and strong ratios to boot. The slider wasn’t as good as I hoped to see, though,  and he heads to homer paradise Cincy next. I’d be worried about that one.

Reid Detmers vs HOU (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

Whoaaaaa, I’m in shock. Detmers leaned so dang hard on the curveball and it worked, tossing it 37% of the time for 10 called strikes and 41% CSW. It’s free real estate. The slider wasn’t half bad, either, though there’s still a bit more left to be desired from the four-seamer, even he did a great job commanding it along the edges. Overall, this is a step forward for Detmers, one that I’m hoping we see more of, but will likely see every so often as he develops as a major leaguer. It’s Cleveland next and that’s no sure thing.

Nestor Cortes @ CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

Whoa, can’t say I expected the ascension of Cortes, but I have to ask – who do the Yankees favor more, Gil or Cortes? With Jordan Montgomery likely back soon after Gerrit Cole starts tomorrow, there are fewer spots to seal in New York. I’m imagining the Yankees lean Cortes given his extra experience and assuming he makes that next start against the Twins, I’m not sure I buy that his command is good enough to pull it off, ChiSox here or not. I’d let him become someone else’s blegh.

Max Scherzer @ NYM (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. He’s continued without a hitch in Dodger blue and let’s be honest, we’re all happy for Scherzerl despite the whole “The Dodgers spent a ton of money and improved and we feel like that’s not right” schtick. Teams are owned by literal Billionaries, don’t hate the Dodgers for actually spending some of that money to win more games. Hate the game, not the player.

Lucas Giolito vs NYY (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna earn a Gallows Pole but toss over 100 pitches in just 12 outs. The slider was back again — woot! — but the changeup wasn’t + his heater couldn’t do damage like it should. Way to act like a massive air conditioner and be hella inefficient, Giolito.

Alec Mills @ MIA (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 92 pitches.

Mills got the Marlins and gave you a decent ERA. Congrats, you’ve achieved the trophy “Start Mills and feel kinda icky about it.” Only 3% of players have won this trophy!

Luis Patiño @ MIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 69 pitches.

I’m a sucker for chasing upside and it’s apparent that Patiño just doesn’t have it right now. Streaming Record: 72-53. Five walks? Seriously? 11% CSW on your slider? There are better fliers to take now.

Alex Wood vs COL (W) – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 91 pitches.

Ayyyy I’m glad to see Wood can at least still follow Rockie Road as his heater was over 92 mph + he had whiffs on his slider. The changeup wasn’t all that bad either and BAM, you have a proper rebound. Atta boy, Wood, that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Lance McCullers @ LAA (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 108 pitches.

That’s a King Cole for Lance, and I’m here for it. That slider was great and the curveball was UNREAL at 15/24 CSW. Yeaaaaah that’s what’s up.

Drew Hutchison vs CLE (L) – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 52 pitches.

Say what now. The Drew Hutchison? Crazy to see an old face again, He used to have a crazy high strikeout rate, you know, and here…well that’s a HAISTBMBWT?! and I’m gonna move on now. It’s weird, I’m normally all for the DH, but this isn’t what I mean.

Kolby Allard vs OAK (W) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 81 pitches.

It’s essentially a PQS with a win and honestly, I’ll take that all day from Dralla. His 57% four-seamers at 91 mph worked, somehow.

Drew Smyly @ WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 74 pitches.

Ah. The curveball wasn’t Sir Dopeamus, the Dopest of Dopetopia, while the fastball is still stuck at 90.5 mph. What that means is he’s definitely not good enough to deal with even the Nationals. Womp womp.

Keegan Akin @ BOS (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

Hey Nick, I started Akin today and–why. WHY. You’re searching for a new arm to replace a starter? Great, just don’t choose Keegan or you’ll be Akin in the morning. You can’t mold this Clay into someone real.

Sonny Gray @ PHI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 78 pitches.

The curveball was not good at all, though the slider had a few bright spots. That fastball that performed so well last time? Well, the sinker went 0/23 CSW – ZERO PERCENT CSW – while the heater was super meh. Get the breakers back, Sonny, we know it’s in there.

Jon Gray @ SF (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 69 pitches.

Velocity was back up to 95.7 mph (almost 96!) but the slider wasn’t as overwhelming as before. San Francisco really isn’t a team you want to face right now.

Aaron Nola vs CIN (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.

So this is what we’re doing. We’re failing to come through with the changeup and losing the precision of your fastball. Cool cool cool, no doubt no doubt. You’re gonna fall on The List tomorrow and I hate it.

Zac Gallen vs SD (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

He allowed a pair of longballs to Fernando Tatis Jr. then a two-run shot in the fifth to Jake Cronenworthtwo of these longballs on changeups, one on a slider. Sigh. It may surprise y’all to know his four-seamer is still performing super well, the story on Gallen is how the secondaries just aren’t coming together yet. He’ll keep add it and market the improvements. I believe it.

Logan Gilbert vs TOR (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 88 pitches.

No elite slider (13% CSW)? No fun time against the Jays. It’s pretty dang simple. I’m worried about Gilbert the rest of the way as he hasn’t had his slider for a good few starts now, and let’s be wise how we use him moving forward. Wise, like the potato chip? Sure, let’s eat one for each start he has his slider moving forward. But you’re not eating any chips. EXACTLY.

Paolo Espino vs ATL (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 74 pitches.

He’s making me want to skip P.E. for the first time in my life. How could you, Paolo. That was my special place. Suit Man whispers in my ear. Ohhhh right. This isn’t new. Thanks for putting me in my place, Suit Man. Don’t know what I’d do without you.

Carlos Carrasco vs LAD (L) – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 57 pitches.

Noooooo, I’m sad to see it. Sure, it was the Dodgers, but I really wanted Carrasco to flex the ole muscles and carve some quality frames. Instead, we saw a pitch mix that was awfully hittable, though his slider was a little better than before. He’ll get the Dodgers a second time on the road now and y’all know it’s best to let him sit that out on the bench as we figure out what we’re getting.

Kris Bubic vs STL (L) – 1.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 56 pitches.

Yikes. Bubic threw too many hittable pitches which…got hit, and he was ousted quickly. I feel like The Cardinal Rule is fading a bit these days, FWIW, and Bubic is still a Young Gun for the most part. Ignore him moving forward for now.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Gerrit Cole vs Los Angeles Angels – He’s coming back from COVID and we all want him to be a stud once again.

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 Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns 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 college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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