Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Thursday 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.
Kyle Bradish (BAL) vs HOU (W) – 8.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.
Hey, it’s me, the man with the foot in his mouth after Kyle Bradish dominated the Astros today via 8.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches. I’ve been a pretty big doubter of Bradish’s second half success, but a start like this against a premier offense? It’s really hard to discredit that.
So how the h*ck did this happen? Well, what has been my biggest criticism of Bradish? His four-seamer. That’s right and as a four-seamer/slider guy, I didn’t see a path to sustained success with that heater taking up so much airtime. You can probably see where I’m going with this – Bradish has tossed the pitch 47% of the time this year, yet tonight, his four-seamer was featured just 18% of the time. Ohhhhh baby.
What we saw in the vacuum were three offerings, two of which have combined for only 13% usage before today. First, he tossed sinkers 16% of the time, returning a 44% called strike rate (fantastic!) and faring far better than the average four-seamer.
Second, he jumped his curveball from 11% usage to 24% and it was marvelous. 75% strikes, 20% SwStr rate, and it even came in about 1.5 ticks harder than usual. He located the pitch consistently near the bottom of the near zone and I sure hope it stays there forever.
Third, he added an extra ten usage points to his excellent slider and the thing did work. Plenty of outs, 72% strikes, and even extra velocity to take down the Astros.
All in all, it was a pitch-mix change for Bradish and I’m so for it. I’ve been a big detractor of that four-seamer and seeing an effective sinker and curve step into its place is a dream. If it’s a legit shift in approach, he’s someone to consider against the Red Sox next start. It’s not a lock (he’s no Gallen), but let’s dance. Live a little.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Jameson Taillon (NYY) vs BOS (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 101 pitches.
I was pretty impressed with Taillon’s slider in this one, earning 6/25 whiffs as he constantly placed it down-and-gloveside. I’m not sold this is a thing to expect with regularity, though, and its shape isn’t magnificent. Still, let’s applaud Taillon for one of his best starts of the year when we needed it most. The Jays are next, though, and that’s another tough decision.
Ranger Suárez (PHI) vs ATL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.
Oh look who’s decided to show up in his last two starts against Atlanta. And now he gets Chicago and you would think he’d be better there. There’s no way this is a trap, right? Right?! His command was legit, though. He deserved this.
Zac Gallen (ARI) @ LAD (ND) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 43% CSW, 98 pitches.
ACES. GONNA. ACE. He nearly had a Win to go along with a career-high in strikeouts and a “King Cole”, too, if it weren’t for some ninth-inning Dodgers heroics because they clearly needed this win tonight. Clearly. You had some worries with Gallen getting Coors + LAD and he’s come away from it not just unscathed, but fluttering beautifully through the wind like a leaf begging to find your palms. Nestle the leaf. Hold him dear and whisper. Yes. I am a Gallen Gal. Forever? Forever.
John Brebbia (SF) @ COL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 14 pitches.
It’s 2022 and there must be at least one bullpen game per day. Thems the rules.
Jonathan Heasley (KC) vs MIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.
And yet you couldn’t handle the Tigers. WHATAREYAGONNADO.
Brandon Woodruff (MIL) @ CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 96 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. That’s three straight double-digit strikeout games and ohhhhh boy we needed it from you Woodruff. Thanks bud.
Max Fried (ATL) @ PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 107 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. 107 pitches for five frames is unlike Fried, but he still came through because that’s what he does. I feel like he’s undervalued in the scope of things and deserves more love.
Joe Musgrove (SD) vs STL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 72 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Phew. The slider has been so inconsistent (15% CSW and one whiff?!) but the cutter was great and the rest of the repertoire got outs. In other words, the man labored…which can be explained by Bob Melvin outlining after the game that Musgrove enduring arm fatigue. Ah. Yeah, it makes sense. I really think we take his next start against the Dodgers off…but if he gets pushed back to the White Sox because of the fatigue, you may want to stick with him. Monitor this.
Julio Urías (LAD) vs ARI (ND) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. The dude is a machine as I haven’t had to give any thought to Urías for a long time. It’s clockwork at this point.
JT Chargois (TB) vs TOR (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 21 pitches.
He opened for The Fratty Pirate and Ryan Yarbrough left with an oblique injury. Soooooo yeah.
Shane Bieber (CLE) @ CWS (W) – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 100 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. Once again, the cutter is taking the place of the slider as the slide piece has underperformed. Kinda weird. I wonder if it’ll make an impact in the postseason.
Hayden Wesneski (CHC) @ PIT (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 87 pitches.
Yessss. Hayden tossed an immaculate inning (nine pitches, three strikeouts) along the way as his breaker and cutter were looking mighty pretty. Sadly, he’ll likely get the Phillies next (not the Reds) and I’m iffy on trusting Hayden there. I kinda want to, but the Phils can mess up a rookie quickly. Be careful.
Mitch Keller (PIT) vs CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.
I was debating Hayden vs. Mitch for the streaming pick and they both worked in the end (no W for Keller, though) and okay, okay, I’ll start Keller against the Reds next. FINE. The slider was better and the four-seamer was difficult to barrel. YOU WIN MITCH.
Justin Verlander (HOU) @ BAL (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 93 pitches.
Aces gonna ace. A Loss?! Sorry Justin, clearly you’re no Bradish.
Jack Flaherty (STL) @ SD (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.
The four walks make him seem more erratic than he was, as I loved his slider and curve in this one, while he constantly pumped heaters into the zone without repercussions. This was a proper reset in my book, just once again, please ignore the walks.
José Ureña (COL) vs SF (L) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 94 pitches.
I have no idea what deal Ureña made and I honestly don’t want to know at this point. Does this mean we can start him in Oracle Park next time out? You can, though I still wouldn’t. There’s a difference, you’re your own individual, you don’t need me.
Hunter Greene (CIN) vs MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 91 pitches.
So the heater wasn’t 101 mph but 99.4 mph (you’re slacking, Hunter), but it was unhittable, returning just three balls in play and 16 whiffs. Yeah. No wonder he earned a “Gallows Pole”. The slider was pretty dang good as well, though it didn’t get the same amount of bites we normally see. I may be buying more into Greene these days with his second-half command and it’s possible he continues his ascension next year. Hmmmmm.
Johnny Cueto (CWS) vs CLE (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.
That’s a “VPQS” and I guess it qualifies as Cueto magic? I think I’m out against the Twins for two, but it’s not a bad wager that one will go your way. Good luck picking the right one.
Josh Winder (MIN) @ KC (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 89 pitches.
Cool to see Winder stretched out to 89 pitches and sure, I’ll take a “PQS” from him if someone needed him to come through in any matter. I don’t think I’m digging him enough to start against the White Sox, but now that he’s gone six frames, there’s always a chance.
Michael Wacha (BOS) @ NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 90 pitches.
A “VVPQS” ain’t what you’re looking for here. The changeup was still great, though, and you should be starting him against the Orioles with the slow ball in his pocket.
Martín Pérez (TEX) vs LAA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.
Changeup was good, everything else wasn’t. I don’t think I’m down for the Mariners and Yankees at this point unless I’m in a QS league. It’s been one h*ck of a ride, Pérez, but not every train ends with glory.
Michael Lorenzen (LAA) @ TEX (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.
Whoa, seven strikeouts?! Huh, the changeup came alive for 8/32 whiffs, while the slider returned 38% CSW. That’s pretty dang cool. Kinda makes me wanna stream him against Oakland in his final two starts…Kinda.
Adrian Martinez (OAK) vs SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 81 pitches.
The slider was pretty slick with 10/22 called strikes, though the change still has some work to do (just a 55% strike rate) and the sinker is…okay. There’s a chance he pulls it off in one of his final two starts against the Angels. Only if you’re desperate, though.
George Kirby (SEA) @ OAK (ND) – 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 69 pitches.
Dude what. You’ve been so good! “HAISTBMBWT?!” It was one of those days where he wasn’t getting the four-seamer past batters (2/25 whiffs ain’t the way) and his secondaries (guess what) didn’t help. Brush it off and keep starting him.
José Berríos (TOR) @ TB (L) – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 74 pitches.
“HAISTBMBWT?!” Sigh. It feels weird being someone who never wanted to draft Berríos but then felt like the only person who believed he could still be worthwhile this year. FWIW, it was a 2.95 ERA across his last six games, but yeah, you just can’t trust the man. It’s a complete toss-up against the Rays.
Game of the Day
Shohei Ohtani vs. Minnesota Twins – It’s a wonderful camera angle and Ohtani is an absolute joy.
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 Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)