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Kutter Fly

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Saturday.

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

Kutter Crawford (BOS) vs TOR (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches.

So, do we like Kutter Crawford these days? With the Chris Sale injury (again), Kutter seems to have a somewhat secure spot in the Boston rotation and despite getting served the Loss today, he still produced with  6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 77 pitches against a powerful Toronto lineup. Is there something here to latch onto?

Well, there’s one thing interesting about his repertoire on our player page and it’s just this fun easter egg (seriously, go to his page and see that it’s real). On a serious note, I’m not the biggest fan of what he does, failing to boast a SwStr rate above 14% on any of his pitches and a pedestrian 31% HardContact rate on his four-seamer. I’m glad to see a change today with his curveball getting tossed nearly 30% of the time instead of the season-long 13% clip, but I’m not sure it’s good enough to catalyze a legit breakout ahead.

He gets the Guardians next and while that isn’t a bad start, it’s not terribly exciting with the Red Sox hovering .500 and losing Rafael Devers to injury, making it not even the best Win chance for a guy who holds a 28% strikeout rate (entering today) that is sure to hit regression, like we saw today. He’s a fringe streamer, nothing more to me.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

 

José Quintana (PIT) vs MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 81 pitches.

The man had his command back, featuring four-seamers high and curves + changeups low, coasting through seven against the Marlins. It’s cool to see Quintana get the outcome he deserves and it feels like I’m in a dream after crossing my fingers hoping we’d see this approach in the spring of 2021. What a time to be alive. I won’t rule out another successful outing against the Phils next.

Lance Lynn (CWS) vs CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

Oh thank Pedro. The fastball velocity hasn’t returned, but the CSW and whiffs have, boasting 8/42 on four-seamers with a glorious 45% CSW. As long as the four-seamer cooks, Lynn will eat. Dunno who does the dishes though…oh stop touching your nose and saying “not it” – you’re too old for this.

Julio Urías (LAD) vs SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 91 pitches.

Urías navigated his way through this one despite just seven whiffs and…wait a second. Is that…NO WAY. What?! Urías sat 94.6 mph on his four-seamer. So? SO?! I’ve been waiting ALL SEASON for Urías to get his four-seamer velocity back as he’s been flirting with 93 mph all year. In fact, this is the first start he’s sat 94+ mph all season. And? It returned a 21% CSW. And look at his results. CSW is lovely, but it ain’t everything. I’m thrilled the velocity is back, let’s hope it’s here to stay.

James Kaprielian (OAK) vs TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

Whoa, let’s all be proud of Kap as he took down his nemesis, The Rangers. I hope you read that in a deep, movie voice because you deserve that spice in your life. Anyway, He went four-seamer/slider and I’m down for that combo when he’s able to command the breaker. I’m hoping he can hold it in the second half and maybe it continues against the ChiSox next.

Blake Snell (SD) @ NYM (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 85 pitches.

Ayyyy, so this is what happens when Snell pounds the zone with fastballs (sweet!) but doesn’t have his best breakers to back it up (2/34 curve + slider whiffs). At least he fully axed the changeup (not a single one thrown!) and had success as a result. Please tell me that approach sticks along with his four-seamer control. The breakers will get the whiffs, don’t worry. Suitman whispers in my earOh for the love of Koufax, does he really get the TWINS next? Why can’t he get one of those 2021 Ranger Suárez schedules? WHAT DOES A MAN HAVE TO DO TO BREAK OUT AROUND HERE.

Matt Bush (TEX) @ OAK (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 10 pitches.

Sup Matt, I gotta go say hi to Taylor Hearn after he went 3.1 frames of shutout ball. Soooo, Taylor. You know this isn’t enough, right? But I pitched in the fifth inning! AND YA DIDN’T FINISH IT. No potential Win for you, even if the slider is coming in nearly three ticks harder. Buuut – NO TIM ALLENS CLAUSES, K THX.

Max Meyer (MIA) @ PIT (ND) – 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 10 pitches.

Meyer left this one early with elbow discomfort. Sigh. Why must injuries be a thing.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs CHC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 106 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. We needed a strong Wheeler start and this was most certainly that. Thanks bud.

Justin Verlander (HOU) @ SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. I’ve been waiting under him for about three months out of kindness to catch his sneakers, but the shoe hasn’t dropped. It may be time to go home and enjoy his ability to tie his laces. Or something like that.

Alek Manoah (TOR) @ BOS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Great to see the punchouts return via his four-seamer earning a whopping 10/34 whiffs alone. He struggled a bit to get sliders and changeups down across the outing, but when packed with that heater, it didn’t matter. I’m stoked to see what he does against the Tigers next.

Brady Singer (KC) vs TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 94 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s one of those starts that gets people back on the Singer train for a moment. His slider earned lots of whiffs, his sinker lots of called strikes, and he dominated. Now he gets the Yanks + White Sox and at least one of those will be a disaster. Don’t chase the Cherry Bomb.

Brandon Woodruff (MIL) vs COL (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 100 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Double-digit whiffs on heaters is the only sign I need to know Woody is doing Woody things. The buzz on his heater was just fine, alright.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) @ PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 86 pitches.

Yessss, this is the Stroman you signed up for. The slider and cutter were effective, the sinker did work, and voila, a strong six-inning outing for your Quality Start leagues. Expect more of this.

Joe Ryan (MIN) @ DET (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.

If you saw this line and guessed “oh, he must have his slider back,” I’d be super proud of you as you nailed it. What? YOU DIDN’T?! Get it together. The pitch came in 2.5 ticks harder as I wonder if it’s a new offering, boasting a 75% strike rate and consistently placed down-and-gloveside. You love to see it and y’all know this wasn’t just a Blame it on the Tigers outing. Keep this up, Joe.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) @ CWS (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

I love seeing McKenzie surviving, but I was sad to see the curveball fail to replicate its impressive locations from his start against the Tigers, while the slider was a bit all over the place, albeit mostly finding the zone. I really dislike how I can’t lean fully into McKenzie because of his fluctuating command and approach – it’s tough for me to simply ignore it and accept the results. I just don’t work that way. Let’s hope he has his best feel against the Red Sox this week, I think I’m still starting him.

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) vs WSH (W) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

Ayyyy it worked! Bumgarner’s curve came through for 6/19 whiffs, while the fastball sat 91/92 and the cutter was precise on the edge down-and-gloveside. This is the dream Arizona had when they signed Madison and it feels like a peak of a start given we haven’t seen this command in ages. He’ll get Atlanta next and that’s a bit of a gamble.

Chris Bassitt (NYM) vs SD (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 89 pitches.

Simply beautiful. It’s hard for me to grant an AGA label to a guy north of a 3.50 ERA, but Bassitt certainly makes me want to consider it soon as his sinker earned called strikes and his four-seamer earned whiffs + 64% strikes on cutters and sliders. Keep starting the dang man.

Kyle Wright (ATL) vs LAA (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 89 pitches.

The curveball was rad at 46% CSW and as long as he gets strikes with the rest of his stuff, that’s all he needs. (Spoiler alert: he did.) Am I acting too slowly raising Wright up the ranks? I think my hesitation is the lack of oomph after the fantastic hook. His sinker gets 70% strikes but is quite pedestrian otherwise, his four-seamer gets hit a bit hard and doesn’t get the whiffs to justify it, and the changeup is…decent. I wish there was one other element to justify the sub 3.00 ERA for me to latch onto.

Logan Gilbert (SEA) vs HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

AHA! Nick! He’s figured it out, just like you said he wouldn’t! I so hope that’s true as he featured far more curveballs in this one than he normally does and he returned 32% CSW across the 25 hooks. The slider was still blegh, though, and I hope the four-seamer/curve combo is a legit path for him moving forward. For now, it’s a wonderful exception that I hope won’t be unique.

Steven Matz (STL) @ CIN (W) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 41% CSW, 90 pitches.

A bittersweet day for Matz as he earned a Golden Goal in a fantastic return from the IL…only to leave the game in the sixth with a knee strain. UGH. It’s unclear what that means for Matz, but I’d imagine another stop on the IL is in order. Bummer, his sinker earned 12/49 whiffs as he sat nearly a tick harder. WHY. 

Konnor Pilkington (CLE) @ CWS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

No joke, I just saw that Konnor earned 12/54 whiffs on his four-seamer and I audibly said “Dude, WHAT?!” But does it matter with the line that followed? I guess not…? Still cool to see, especially given he sat a tick down on his fastball to just 91.3 mph. Mmmm no thanks.

Alex Wood (SF) @ LAD (L) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

Blegh. If this were six innings, we’d be thrilled, but with 33% fewer outs, that ERA and WHIP ain’t great. The good news: His slider was still super legit and he’s 92/93 mph still. I’m all for his next start against the Cubs…just consider skipping another date with the Dodgers after.

Michael Pineda (DET) vs MIN (L) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 55 pitches.

We saw the floor last time and while this ain’t that, it ain’t it, either. Stay away.

Johnny Cueto (CWS) vs CLE (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 93 pitches.

We are all witnesses to Cueto, a man who just earned 21/21 outs in the field and allowed just 3 ER doing so. HAISTBMBWT?! Cueto does not care about your bread. GASP. This is a dangerous game to play, a possible Grave Mistake n all, but it’s the Athletics next and that seems like a simple decision.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) @ BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 112 pitches.

Jeeeeez Cole, against the Orioles? I know it was incredibly hot, but you’re making it easy for me to slot Scherzer and Sandy above ya on Monday. Figure. It. Out.

Jordan Lyles (BAL) vs NYY (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 99 pitches.

I have a soft spot for Lyles after those two lovely streams a few weeks ago, but yeah, this was supposed to be…this. We carry on.

Aníbal Sánchez (WSH) @ ARI (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 93 pitches.

Anibal is back with the high cutters and it wasn’t nearly as bad as you’d expect for it being, you know, Aníbal SánchezHe’s hoping to settle in as a Toby and we’re not there yet. Sorry bucko.

Luis Patiño (TB) @ KC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 72 pitches.

Okay…so we’re at 72 pitches now, likely pushing 80 next time. Sure, it wasn’t a good result, and the fastball velocity is still down a tick, and he earned only four whiffs total, and the changeup went 4/15 strikes, but at least he’ll be stretched out now? Fine, there’s a lot to work on and anticipating that he’ll not only come through next outing but also demand a 5+ inning rotation spot (he and Ryan Yarbrough each went four frames in this one) may be too many assumptions for me.

José Ureña (COL) @ MIL (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 87 pitches.

This just in: The world isn’t actually in complete chaos. More at eleven.

Mike Minor (CIN) vs STL (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.

Yeaaaaaah. Just treat your teams like happy harmonious bars and accept no Minors.

Patrick Sandoval (LAA) @ ATL (L) – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 80 pitches.

Oh dear. Sandoval has been through a gauntlet of opponents with the Astros and Dodgers across two of his previous three games, but at least he showed signs of legit stuff in those. Here…he returned just 6/45 whiffs on his changeup + slider. That. Ain’t. It. He’s still floundering and I don’t blame managers who see the horrific WHIP and jump ship, even if his ERA sits under 3.50 with a great strikeout rate. Is he a PEASCherry BombI’m not quite sure, but he’s a high risk/reward guy and The Irish Panda may be a fool’s errand for the next twelve weeks. I sure hope not.

 

Game of the Day 

Shane Bieber vs. Dylan Cease – Over/Under 14.5 strikeouts between them? I’ll take the over.

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.

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