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Nathan, Poor You

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Friday 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.  

Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) vs TOR (L) – 2.2 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 63 pitches.

Poor, poor Nathan EovaldiHe struggled in his return from the IL last week, but Friday’s performance was destruction. The Jays lit him up (and the entire bullpen, for that matter) via 2.2 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 63 pitches, and you, the concerned fantasy manager who did not give up on your team after the all-star break (y’all are the real MVPs), don’t know what to do.

Well, I don’t have great news for ya. My concern last time was a two tick drop in fastball velocity to a somewhat pedestrian 94/95 mph clip and it was more of the same here. Eovaldi thrives with his 96/97+ heaters and he’s simply not the same man without it. For those wondering, he did hit 97 mph in the first, but it was pretty consistently down across this outing.

It could very well be the injury lingering, it could also be a man ramping up to what he used to be and he simply wasn’t ready to push it here. I’m not going to tell you to drop him after this one and he could very well get back on track next time against the Guardians. That said, I don’t blame you for giving him another evening on your bench to make sure it’s safe to come out again. At least give him that, his spring performance deserves it.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

 

Zac Gallen (ARI) vs WSH (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 97 pitches.

What a lovely outing from Gallen as he earned a ton of strikes with curves, changeups, and cutters, even if he earned just 5/54 whiffs between them. Odd note: his changeup was down four ticks this time out (87 mph to 83 mph), which feels like a grip change to me. It could mean something interesting, or it could just be another 22% CSW outing with the pitch. Either way, celebrate this, but I’m still looking for one of his secondaries to truly step forward before getting legit excited for the second half.

Charlie Morton (ATL) vs LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 105 pitches.

Yessssss. A Gallows Pole for Morton is a wonderful sight as his curveball and heater each did their part to make it happen. Can we stop having those little mediocre outings among these stud outings? I think we all deserve a glorious second half after those first two months. K thx.

José Urquidy (HOU) @ SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 105 pitches.

I’ll take it, especially with the four-seamer failing to whiff nearly as many batters this time out. Thankfully, the change and slider showed up a bit and helped him get through six frames. He’ll get them a second time and I’m cool with that, too.

Yu Darvish (SD) @ NYM (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 99 pitches.

Oh dang, he really is starting to make me want to give him the AGA label now that he’s pulled his ERA down to 3.28 and was absolute class against the Mets. Pretty cool for Darvish to go 6/14 whiffs on his splitter after being mostly a fastball/cutter/slider guy this season and with the Tigers up next it’s awfully tempting. Let’s talk after that start and see how we’re feeling.

Cole Irvin (OAK) vs TEX (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 84 pitches.

The Rangers are messing up a fair amount of pitchers but Cole looked like Gerrit as he danced around the edges with his curve and four-seamer to fan eight. Hey, this is coming off just 4 ER stretch against the Jays and Astros twice and there’s a small feeling this four-start run can be five with the Astros next. Then again, he tallied just 10 punchouts in those three outings and this feels like an anomaly. Up to you if you want to Vargas RuleI don’t think I’m buying it.

Braxton Garrett (MIA) @ PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 79 pitches.

Ayyy it worked! So I said last time that Garrett wasn’t gonna earn nine whiffs on his sinker again and guess what! He earned zero! And it didn’t matter! Unfortunately for all of us (and him too, I guess), Garrett doesn’t get to play the Pirates for a third straight start next week, but I am going to applaud him not only for tossing sliders as his most utilized pitch, but for going 10/27 whiffs with it, too. He has a bit of a challenge heading to Cincinnati next time out and I’m still not sold that his whole schtick works regardless of the Pirates being the Pirates n all. Thing is, if you’re waiting on Braxton, you sure won’t be able to snatch him up after that next start if he does well. He’s at least worth a spec add at this point to hold through it out of curiosity.

Drew Rasmussen (TB) @ KC (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 94 pitches.

5 IP and 1 ER is the Rasmussen special, even with a 1.60 WHIP. He gets the Orioles next and sure, he can do it again.

Justin Steele (CHC) @ PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 11% CSW, 89 pitches.

Despite finally allowing a longball off his four-seamer (blame this guy) and walking four batters…and earning just two strikeouts, Steele “came through” with a 1.80 ERA and a dub. You really shouldn’t be relying on this arsenal.

Tyler Anderson (LAD) vs SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 91 pitches.

I love how this just keeps going despite my massive hesitation. Who cares what I think, Tyler, go kill it with your changeup and defy this armchair manager. Have yourself a career year.

Logan Webb (SF) @ LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 103 pitches.

Ehhhhh, fine. Webb held just a 9% CSW on the changeup while the slider went 5/43 whiffs and I was really hoping he was ramping toward a strong finish. Still could very well happen, but my hesitancy to raise him up The List due to the WHIP has been validated here…against the Dodgers. The next outing against the Diamondbacks should be plenty better.

Max Scherzer (NYM) vs SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a King ColeJust eight strikeouts? You’re slacking.

Cal Quantrill (CLE) @ CWS (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 97 pitches.

It’s pretty dang boring, isn’t it? And yet, he sticks on your fantasy teams with his roughly 3.80 ERA and 15% strikeout rate. What a Toby.

Corbin Burnes (MIL) vs COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 108 pitches.

Aces gonna ace despite not having his best stuff against Rockie RoadStill great, it just feels weird to see a sub 30% CSW on his cutter.

Marco Gonzales (SEA) vs HOU (L) – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 84 pitches.

He’s been off the cliff for a bit and a date with the Astros was another apparent bump on the horizon. At least he gets the Rangers next, but I don’t think I’d go for that one, even if Irivin messed them up today. Just not enough of a ceiling to risk it.

Jameson Taillon (NYY) @ BAL (ND) – 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 67 pitches.

Blegh. Taillon rebounded last time out against the Red Sox (6 IP, 1 ER)  and I had higher hopes here against the Orioles. The stuff doesn’t speak to overwhelming dominance, but it generally tells a tale of keeping your head above water. Maybe that lack of dominance speaks more to a lower floor as well…? No, it’s the children who are wrong. On the real, Taillon should be fine to start against the Royals as this 2.2 IP start is a clear exception; his four-seamer command was weird and that rarely happens.

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 108 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Sure, it’s one ER more than you wanted, but with a 14-0 lead in the fourth, can you really blame Gausman? They let him finish the fifth for the Win so be thrilled with the dub and ten strikeouts. He even sat 96/97 mph here, over a tick up from what we normally see. He’s the ace you want.

Antonio Senzatela (COL) @ MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 95 pitches.

I feel like this is a good start for Senz-A. Hoooooo boy.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs STL (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 112 pitches.

I’m glad the sinker got a bit more action and he earned eight strikeouts, but his command is still wonky and we’re not jumping back in yet. Dunno if we will again any time soon.

Spencer Howard (TEX) @ OAK (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 81 pitches.

Even against the A’s, Howard is producing F’s.

Brad Keller (KC) vs TB (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 13% CSW, 85 pitches.

HA. Ha. Hahahaha. Ha. ha. ha. ha.

Patrick Corbin (WSH) @ ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 99 pitches.

Fastball still hard, slider still getting whiffs, annnnnd it doesn’t matter. Sigh. One day Corbin. One day…

Tyler Wells (BAL) vs NYY (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 81 pitches.

It’s the Yankees. There is a large tier of pitchers where you simply can’t judge badly when they struggle against a top tier offense. Mr. Wells over here is in said tier. Stop shedding tears for this tier, y’all knew what this was.

Shohei Ohtani (LAA) @ ATL (L) – 6.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna fan eleven and go six scoreless. But he allowed 6 ER! Ohhh right. Somehow, he was left in long enough to allow six baserunners in the seventh, capped off with an Orlando Arcia three-run shot. Sure, he had only allowed a single hit before then, BUT STILL. I remember someone telling me it’s incredibly rare to see a pitcher with 0 ER enter the seventh and lose a Quality Start as they get the hook before the fourth baserunner. Amen to that. Annnnyway, he’s still dope with his heavy slider usage and this was dumb.

Kyle Gibson (PHI) vs CHC (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

Gibson threw 22 sliders and earned just 9% CSW across them. Yup. It was one of those nights and after I led with him last time, we recognized his innate volatility. Well, folks, here it is. HAISTBMBWT?!

Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs CLE (L) – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 64 pitches.

Oh for the love of Koufax, I’m getting pretty tired of this. His changeup was hung, the slider was meh, and the heater didn’t do enough at just 92.4 mph (we want to see 93/94). I was worried last week about the velocity dip and that concern still lingers here. I can’t help but feel like it’s still a TIARA situation, but if that velocity doesn’t keep creeping up (and, you know, the whole slider + changeup not being great), I fear we won’t see a second-half rebound. This is the worst.

Adam Wainwright (STL) @ CIN (L) – 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 101 pitches.

Sooooo is Wainwright a Cherry Bomb now? That’s his fourth 4+ ER start across his last seven games and it seems the Cardinals’ luck is held just by Miles Mikolas these days. And next it’s the Jays and…ugh. Sure, that could work out, though the faith is dwindling here as he had to rely too heavily on the cutter. It feels like a coin toss for the second half.

Zach Thompson (PIT) vs MIA (L) – 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 89 pitches.

Sigh. I really do miss Thompson from about this time last year. That was a cool little thing that happened and I think we have to give the Marlins props for recognizing they should give his rotation spot to someone else, despite the success he had in 2021. Something to think about.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Lance Lynn vs. Cleveland Guardians I just want the dang man to succeed like the good ole days. YOU GOT THIS LYNN.

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.

Photo by Scott W. Grau/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.

2 responses to “Nathan, Poor You”

  1. Nic says:

    Acuña didn’t homer

  2. larry womack says:

    Not sure if you will answer this but here goes.

    Would you trade Strider for Semiem

    Thanks

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