True Lyles

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.  

Jordan Lyles (BAL) vs DET (W) – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 94 pitches.

A few weeks ago, I did my yearly transition of The List from a Top 100 Ranking to an outline of the final month of the season. It’s a time to sit down and begin circling matchups to target down the stretch and help plan your weeks.

One of those matchups was the Orioles staff against the Detroit TigersAustin Voth came through yesterday (let’s ignore Tyler Wellshe wasn’t stretched out) and after waiting for weeks, Jordan Lyles had his day against the Tigers. And boy oh boy, was it a day – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 94 pitches. Some days, the world just falls into your lap.

I could wax poetic about this outing – his slider had a 44% CSW, the sinker went 89% strikes, his curveball landed for 75% strikes and a 25% SwStr rate, and so on and so forth – but we all know the reality of this. Blame it on the Tigers. I’m sorry, this was a spot stream and while I’m ecstatic it worked out so well, he gets the Red Sox and Yankees to end his season. Don’t start Lyles there, surely there’s better.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

 

Kevin Gausman (TOR) @ PHI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 89 pitches.

The splitter earned a boatload of whiffs and the four-seamer did everything right at 96 mph. It’s the man we’ve expected every outing, but BABIP has gotten in the way. So much, in fact, that it’s the highest BABIP of any season above 150 IP ever. Why didn’t you see this coming? …Seriously?!

Adrian Houser (MIL) vs NYM (ND) – 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 74 pitches.

Houser, what did strikeouts ever do to you? I like to give my teammates something to do in the field. Really? REALLY?! HAISTBMBWT?! This cannot last, y’all. It really can’t.

Zack Wheeler (PHI) vs TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 58 pitches.

Oh, he’s back alright. Sure sure, just 58 pitches and kinda justifying the whole “Questionable Start” label, but he sat 98 mph, hitting 99 mph along the way. Yep, that’s the Wheeler we know and love. Now we can start the man without hesitation.

Logan Webb (SF) @ COL (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 66 pitches.

Phew. There was a lot of debate about this one for Webb and I’m so glad it worked out for him. The tough games are over, now enjoy Rockie Road and the Sneks. That’s my favorite band! Of course they are.

Blake Snell (SD) vs STL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks – 29 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 117 pitches.

29 Whiffs?! SAY WHAT?! That’s a Gallows Pole for very obvious reasons as Snell flirted with a no-hitter through six. The slider was insanely good down as the four-seamer hugged the armside edge of the plate and the Cardinals couldn’t do a whole lot with it. Man, prime Snell is a glorious thing. It’s really hard to say no to this even against the Dodgers next time out…

James Kaprielian (OAK) vs SEA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

He’s a desperate chance for six frames and Jimmy Hat gave you one more for good luck as the changeup woke up for once with 42% CSW. I’m happy to applaud him here, I don’t think it’s safe to start him against the Angels because of it, though. This was an exceptional start, not the rule.

Robbie Ray (SEA) @ OAK (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we call A Rebound. Much better pitch separation and we should be smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Miles Mikolas (STL) @ SD (L) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 99 pitches.

That’s some lovely work, Mikolas. Now it’s just the Brewers and Pirates and you can hold on for just two more games, right? Wonderful.

Madison Bumgarner (ARI) @ LAD (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 84 pitches.

For real? Even though you sat 90/91 mph? And your curve and cutter combined for a 16% CSW over 56 pitches?! Why do I even try. Baseball just is like that sometimes.

Corey Kluber (TB) vs HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

Huge props to Kluber for surviving seven here after totaling 10 ER across his last two games. I guess it means we’re okay with him against the Guardians next as the cutter returned in this one, but are we really? 

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) vs CHC (ND) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 42% CSW, 101 pitches.

Awwwww yes. Luzardo’s four-seamer was insane at 41% CSW, while the curve was elite at a 48% CSW clip. The changeup took another step back, but he didn’t need it with his heater/curve overwhelming the Cubs. I kinda want one more start of the changeup being legit so we can be happy entering the off-season and I’ll keep those thoughts to myself if the alternative is a start like this. Now’s the hard part as he gets the Mets + Atlanta. You have to at least try for the first game, right?

Bryce Elder (ATL) vs WSH (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 93 pitches.

I had a small feeling this could work out and I’m thrilled to see Elder come through. That said, it was a game of the sinker messing up the Nats and that’s about it. He shouldn’t get another start save for a proper injury in the rotation and unless it’s during the final series against the Marlins, I don’t think I jump back in if he does.

Chase Anderson (CIN) vs BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.

I feel like I opened the wrong door in a Marriot and there’s Chase, sitting alone wearing a coned hat celebrating his Birthday PartyOhhhh, don’t mind me. Carry on.

Luis Severino (NYY) vs PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 64 pitches.

He was limited pitch-count wise, but still made it through five as his stuff was everything you want from Severino – a tick up in velocity, a 64% CSW slider, and a decent changeup. Like dolls from the late 90s, this is a Go Go. That’s goo goo. What, for Cocoa Puffs? NICK.

Paolo Espino (WSH) @ ATL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 71 pitches.

We had a surprise Espino start as he won’t get the Marlins this weekend after all. Props to him for not getting destroyed by Atlanta, but if he sticks, he gets them again. A start like this was a magic trick and you don’t do those a second time.

Daniel Lynch (KC) vs MIN (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 78 pitches.

If you’re looking for something that would say “hey, Lynch is doing something new!” I don’t have it for you. You sure? No, I have nothing on the DL.

Dustin May (LAD) vs ARI (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 79 pitches.

Oh dear. After his showcase of dominance against the Marlins, May hasn’t been able to find a groove and he’s getting hit harder than we’d like. Blame the heaters – they’re oddly hittable despite their velocity and movement – and I wonder if a Cherry Bomb label is his nature. Or maybe we should give him slack for returning from TJS. Probably the latter. It’s a tough call against the Padres next (sit?) but you’ll still want to chance it against Rockie Road the final week of the year.

Triston McKenzie (CLE) @ CWS (W) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 46% CSW, 100 pitches.

That’s a clear King Cole for sticks at a whopping 46% CSW, where he went BSB once again with his four-seamer and curve, while he’s still figuring out how to command the slider, but got away with a fair amount in the zone. It’s really hard to hate on Triston given how many starts he’s had like this in 2022 and I hope I can shake off my bad feelings of his command across the long off-season. He’s so fun to root for.

Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU) @ TB (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 102 pitches.

Yep, we’ll absolutely take this from Lance. It’s not often you see him go a full seven frames, especially when his curve returns just 50% strikes. The slider/sinker/change worked well with each other and we’re not holding back against the Diamondbacks and Phils up next. Take us home, Lance.

Dane Dunning (TEX) vs LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 72 pitches.

I snuck Dunning into the end of the “Questionable Start” tier as a dart throw and had no idea he was in line for this. He sat a tick higher across the board and had his best slider (40% CSW!) while the sinker and cutter did work. I’m still not doing this against the Mariners next, but thanks for this, Dunning.

Germán Márquez (COL) vs SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 75 pitches.

Márquez has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter.

Marcus Stroman (CHC) @ MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

You may have wanted a little better than a PQSbut that’s a 1.00 WHIP and seven strikeouts. Be happy. Oh, thanks. Okay I know that’s sarcastic and I’m fine with that but y’all need to learn about expectations and how to manage them like an open-mouthed LaRussa. OKAY NICK I’LL BE HAPPY. That’s the spirit.

Lance Lynn (CWS) vs CLE (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 97 pitches.

That’s a VVPQS from Lynn and you can blame his four-seamer returning just 3/44 whiffs. Bummer. Not much more I can do than say “go get ‘em next time, kiddo.” Is that really all you can say? …yes?

Matt Manning (DET) @ BAL (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 102 pitches.

Look, I’m not going to rub my shoes on the Matt. Say whatever you want about what you expected, but don’t lie that five walks were totally what you were thinking when you saw a date with the Orioles. That said, you really shouldn’t be relying on Manning to save your league.

Tucker Davidson (LAA) @ TEX (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 67 pitches.

This is so close to being good. So dang close. 55% slider usage in this one is making me a touch more interested, but 11% CSW across his fastballs has me running away.

Bailey Ober (MIN) @ KC (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 85 pitches.

Blegh. He was stretched out as I expected to 85 pitches and he had a good fastball in the upper third, but the secondaries let him down. I’m still likely starting him against the ChiSox for his final two games, but I feel your pain here.

Taijuan Walker (NYM) @ MIL (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

Bleggggh. Just when we thought it was safe. But for real now, it’s the Marlins and Natty Lite next. Roll your eyes all you want, get some sleep, and keep Walker on the roster for those starts.

Connor Seabold (BOS) @ CIN (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 85 pitches.

You probably weren’t even aware that Seabold was given the nod to start again. That’s alright, I won’t tell him. He has enough on his plate.

Roansy Contreras (PIT) @ NYY (L) – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 87 pitches.

I know this is going to age me, but I recall way back in 2015 when both Noah Syndergaard and Andrew Cashner were going 5 IP with double-digit Ks each while they got rocked in the same fashion, one day after another in San Diego. I feel like that dog getting served cupcakes seeing this line from Roansy and it’s one of those games you look at and go “he deserved better”. And the thing is, yes, he did, but he also hung some sliders, walked too many, and kinda deserved some trouble here. That said, he gets the Reds in Pittsburgh next and you dang well better start him there. He’s gonna FEAST.

 

Game of the Day

 

Zac Gallen vs. Julio Urías – Gallen is gonna pull it off, right? Even though it’s the Dodgers? Cool.

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 Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

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.

One response to “True Lyles”

  1. BB says:

    Chase Anderson’s second birthday party in the past six days, at this rate he’ll be retiring soon.

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