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Skuba Diving

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Wednesday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Tarik Skubal (DET) @ BOS (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

This hasn’t been a fun June for Tarik SkubalAfter tonight’s 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches loss against the Red Sox, Skubal has allowed consecutively 3, 4, 5, and now 6 ER across his last four outings. Yeeeeesh. The last three have been particularly rough as he failed to go more than five frames in any of them and it’s hard not to wonder if regression is hitting Skubal in an awfully blunt manner.

But y’all know me, I generally hate screaming REGRESSION — partially because I’d look like a mad man here in Brooklyn, but also because regression only makes sense when the results don’t match the process. In this case, Skubal’s process has been a bit shaky all year, but it all seemed to work and I didn’t think much of it. Now it’s been rough and the intrigue he showed with his changeup last time out dissipated, leaving behind a poorly located fastball and a decent slider. This ain’t it.

So we’re in a tough spot now. This could be as simple as a TIARA or it could be a return to the mediocrity he often displayed last season. I want to believe in the former and I think I’d still give him a chance against the Giants next time out. He’s not so far off with his stuff. It’s in there.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

 

Pablo López (MIA) vs COL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 107 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. I know, he hasn’t really acted like his AGA label for a little while, and it wasn’t his traditional self with just 4/37 changeup whiffs here, but the command was solid and Rockie Road did the rest. He should be fine against the Cards next.

Tyler Wells (BAL) vs WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 95 pitches.

I think some don’t believe I give Wells enough respect — Nick, that’s 0 ER in five frames! — but if this is what you’re chasing, it’s awfully pedestrian with a 1.40 WHIP and just four strikeouts. Sure, it’s some filler if you chased it, but there will be nights when he’s not good and it’s a Double Bubble where you’re wondering why you would ever do such a thing.

George Kirby (SEA) @ OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

When Kirby has a good matchup, you darn-tootin’ be starting him. Sure, the secondaries aren’t spectacular, but that heater will take down mediocre lineups like my notes in Psych 101. Gotta get them down.

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) vs KC (W) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 108 pitches.

Aces gonna ACE. Mmmmmm it’s good to see slider-heavy Ohtani show up, where he boasted a whopping 57% CSW on 46 thrown here, catalyzing a King Cole. Insane. Yes, I’m tempted to watch this start in its entirety tomorrow on stream. JUST TRY TO STOP ME.

Daniel Lynch (KC) @ LAA (L) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 104 pitches.

So it wasn’t 23 whiffs. And his four-seamer command was meh. And he walked five batters. And needed 104 pitches to hit the showers in the fifth. But a 40% CSW on his slider! Yeah, sure. With six whiffs. That’s cool. That’s cool. Sorry, I was hoping this would be another stepping stone across Baseball River en route toward the land of legitimacy, but instead, we got a man stepping on a slippery rock and wobbling to keep his balance. Find your footing, Lynch.

Carlos Rodón (SF) @ ATL (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 91 pitches.

Aces gonna ace as Rodón is cooking once again, even if he’s sitting just 95.2 mph on the heater (topped out at 98.6, though). Enjoy the Gallows Pole, you earned it.

Keegan Thompson (CHC) @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.

Ayyyy it worked! Sadly, it didn’t come with the ridiculous whiff-heavy stuff we saw last weekend, but Keegan took full advantage of the Pirates and has a chance to do so again as he hosts the Reds on Tuesday. I’d be cautious given the 5/70 combined whiffs on four-seamers and cutters here (17 last time!), but there’s a chance.

Ross Stripling (TOR) @ CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

This was the possible moment of respite between the Yanks and Red Sox for Stripling and I’m a bit shocked to see him take full advantage of it. He elevated fastballs well with low changeups and sliders, though I’m still not thoroughly impressed with his stuff. Just 50% changeup strikes with 2/28 whiffs on sliders. It seems a bit too fragile for me, but hey, props to those who ran with this.

Shane Baz (TB) vs NYY (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 78 pitches.

The Rays didn’t let him complete the fifth, but I imagine he’ll push past 80 pitches moving forward and turn into the SP #3/#4 you want him to be. Baz is really good y’all and I’m so glad he’s finally here.

Mike Clevinger (SD) vs ARI (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 81 pitches.

I’m surprised to see 81 pitches on the docket and even more shocked to see just three whiffs total. Three. Let’s just hope it’s rust and start him a second time against the Sneks in a week.

Charlie Morton (ATL) vs SF (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 105 pitches.

Yessssssss. Morton has had his elite stuff for about four outings now and I’m glad he had a stable outing like this to make it clear to fantasy managers. That sure was a rough two months, wasn’t it? There’s a whole lot of season left to keep making it up to us loyal managers. Times a tickin’.

Michael Wacha (BOS) vs DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 98 pitches.

On one hand, it’s the Tigers. On the other, Wacha has been performing far above his pay grade now in four of his last five starts. I hate to see his heater down to just 93 mph here, but he earned called strikes and outs on the pitch, while the changeup did decent work. That’s about it and it doesn’t preach consistency, making his future date with the Jays one to easily avoid. Don’t get seduced by an evening with Detroit.

Jon Gray (TEX) vs PHI (W) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 102 pitches.

Gray had his excellent slider & sat 96+ mph on his four-seamer, allowing him to help across the board here. And now it’s the Royals?! IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE. 

Zack Wheeler (PHI) @ TEX (L) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Aces gonna run into trouble against the Rangers for some reason. That’s a One Night Bland, alright.

Luis Garcia (HOU) vs NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 83 pitches.

So the box score is poor, but Garcia has his secondaries on fire in this one with 13/43 whiffs and 42% combined CSW. I blame the heater being a little too hittable in the zone for the unwelcome ratios, but overall, this start reinforces our confidence in Garcia moving forward.

Tyler Anderson (LAD) @ CIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 81 pitches.

Anderson, you’re looking a whole lot like your 2021 Toby self in this one, snap out of it. 3/32 changeup whiffs are not the 2022 man you’re supposed to be. DOES ANYONE HAVE SOME SMELLING SALTS?!

Sonny Gray (MIN) vs CLE (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 85 pitches.

I expected Gray to be on a more significant pitch count, but we ultimately got the limited frames in the end. His curveball and slider had moments, but the fastballs weren’t well spotted and he made far too many mistakes. That’s baseball, Suzyn. I’d expect a rebound against the Orioles next time out.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ BAL (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 83 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Patrick again. Play it cool guys, play it cool.

Jordan Montgomery (NYY) @ TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

Blegh. The sinker held a low 22% CSW as it allowed five hits and didn’t sneak in the zone like we wanted it to for The BearSo it goes. He’s sure to prosper against the Athletics and Guardians moving forward.

Chad Kuhl (COL) @ MIA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Annnnnnd this is why we’ve given up on Kuhl, even against a mediocre lineup on the road.

Luis Castillo (CIN) vs LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 103 pitches.

Yikes. The Dodgers in Cincy are no joke, but I was still hoping Castillo would make it worthwhile. He had good pitch separation, but still erratic with many wasted pitches across the board. He’s primed for a rebound against the Cubs next and I wouldn’t worry.

Adam Wainwright (STL) @ MIL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

Noooooooo. He featured a few too many in the heart of the plate and allowed two longballs in this one. Whatever, it’s the Marlins next and we press on.

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) @ SD (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.

A middling southpaw against the Padres? Well, yeah, that’s exactly the line we expected. And guess what — WHAT?! — he faces them again. NOOOOOO.

Eric Lauer (MIL) vs STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

Sooooo this isn’t great, but his four-seamer sat at 94 mph instead of 92.5 mph and his slider was far better at 30% CSW here. There’s still some work to be done with his fastball location, but at least we have something tangible to hold onto if you want to keep rolling with Lauer. He gets the Rays next and if you want to jump off this, that makes all the sense to me. I think I’m staying on for one more to see where it goes.

Carlos Carrasco (NYM) @ HOU (L) – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 53 pitches.

Carrasco left this one early with lower back tightness. Let’s hope it’s nothing severe.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) @ MIN (ND) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.

Blegh. The Twins are a strong offense and punished McKenzie’s four-seamers and sliders. He didn’t pitch nearly as poorly as you’d expect with this line, with solid precision with elevated four-seamers…but the slide piece was hung often and the curveball wasn’t a reliable strike offering. Sadly the Bronx Bombers are next and you may want to sit that out. He’ll be a questionable starter there.

Paul Blackburn (OAK) vs SEA (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.

Uh oh. Blackburn has been a Toby for many, and a steal for those in deeper leagues, but man-oh-man-oh-war was this the floor we didn’t want to see. And now he gets the Yankees? AHHHHHHHHHHH. An easy drop for the wire in 12-teamers — there’s no reason you should be stashing Blackburn for 10 days.

Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs TOR (L) – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 95 pitches.

UGGGGHHH. I know how poor the last five starts have been, but the early ones of that stretch were more poor luck than truly pitching badly. If you’re asking what the problem with Giolito is here, it’s everything. Fastball was down a tick here (it was up last time out!), changeup and slider still both lacking, and he’s just the guy we want. But we press on and understand that the Angels are a far worse offense than the Jays. Give this man a TIARA and hope the reverse coronation arrives soon.

Jerad Eickhoff (PIT) vs CHC (L) – 4.1 IP, 10 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 83 pitches.

Oh dear. You should have seen my excitement this morning when I saw Eickhoff was getting the ball for the Pirates. It’s been a while… I can’t imagine what he’s feeling right now, poor guy.

 

Game of the Day 

Robbie Ray vs. Frankie Montas – Can Ray continue to soar with his sinker? Will Montas have his splitter and slider? This will be fun.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday through Friday.

Featured image 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.

  • John Henry Weitzel says:

    Ohtani to the top 10?

  • Joe Mulvey says:

    A mouthful, maybe an edit:

    ….but overall, this is a start to reinforce our confidence in Garcia lacking into our future lineups.

    Respectfully,
    Joe

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks Joe! Just fixed it. That was peak delirium Nick there. (It was supposed to be “locking”, FWIW)

  • Ryan says:

    McKenzie should get the Twins (again) next, Yanks are a week later, I believe.

  • Toby says:

    Nick would you rather have Verlander or Giolito? I have Verlander but I expect some regression, and I can see Gio bouncing back later in the season.

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