The Zen Garden

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.  

Michael Lorenzen (LAA) vs OAK (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches.

We have just one more week of regular season baseball and I wanted to highlight Michael Lorenzen after going 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches against the Athletics and with one start to go, guess what, he gets them again. 

Do I think Lorenzen is exciting as guys like Luis Ortiz or Braxton GarrettNot quite, but the fella is able to go 100+ pitches, allowing for a chance at a Win and QS more frequently than others, and hey, sometimes his changeup is fantastic and he goes slowball/four-seamer to fan eight batters.

I think this start was a bit of an anomaly given the quality of that changeup, but in general, the cutter and slider get more action and are respectable pitches, while the sinker and four-seamer can get the job done as well.

It’s all to say what you already know: You can stream Lorenzen next week as he faces them again. He’s not my favorite player to stream, but it can clearly work and that’s something to treasure when picking streamers. One more start, Michael. Make it happen.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

 

Bryse Wilson (PIT) vs CIN (ND) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

Velocity was a tick down across the board, his changeup earned just 50% strikes, and it’s Bryse, but he had himself a lovely Birthday Party against the Reds, and yes, we blame it on them. Keep him on the wire against the Cardinals.

Brandon Woodruff (MIL) vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Another one for Woodruff as he fanned ten, overpowering Cardinals hitters with his four-seamer and slider. You don’t need me to tell you to start him against the Sneks next.

Julio Urías (LAD) @ SD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. And he didn’t even have his best stuff. 

Rich Hill (BOS) vs BAL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 100 pitches.

Huh. I guess he really is a Cherry Bomb after all. I don’t think that’s enough for me to start him against the Rays next week but hey, your call.

Joe Musgrove (SD) vs LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 106 pitches.

Phew. I was worried going into this one with Musgrove’s shoulder fatigue issues, his recent disasters, and, well, you know, the Dodgers. I wouldn’t call this one vintage Musgrove in any way (four walks?! Seriously?!) but he’s good enough to get the nod against the Giants next. Make us proud, Joe.

John Brebbia (SF) vs COL (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 17 pitches.

Sean Hjelle followed, sniped the Win, and got out as fast as he could. Good on the guy, I sure don’t want to act in any way for this. Just let him sit where he is and don’t butter up the Hjelle.

Justin Verlander (HOU) vs ARI (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The calf injury seemed to take him out of the running, but he’s now tossed more frames than Corbin BurnesIP total last year and with a far better ERA at 1.80. You have to give it to him…right?

Triston McKenzie (CLE) vs TB (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 88 pitches.

12 whiffs on the four-seamers got a Holy Cow, how’d he do that one? from me, and I was shocked to see him finally command the slider effectively, going 9/13 strikes as it hugged the edges. Stop it, Triston, you’re making me fall for you too dang hard and I still don’t know if I can trust you as a Top 25 SP for next year yet.

George Kirby (SEA) vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 88 pitches.

See? All is fine. But he only earned four four-seamer whiffs and his secondaries were mediocre. Okay. Fair. He also gets the Tigers next. OKAY. FAIR.

Josiah Gray (WSH) vs ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

We had a better slider here and even better luck as Josiah earned 16/18 outs in the field. That’s not how this is supposed to go and I’m still not embracing Josiah as a dart throw save for desperate leagues – the Mets away to end his season.

Hayden Wesneski (CHC) vs PHI (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 85 pitches.

So it mostly worked if you went after Wesneski – a Win and just one earned run is certainly to your liking. No QS and a terrible WHIP, though, and you can blame Wesneski’s mostly two-pitch approach that featured a slider that didn’t do quite enough. But hey(den), he gets the Reds next Tuesday and I’m okay with that one. Plan for it, if you like.

José Quintana (STL) @ MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 81 pitches.

Yeeeeep. He had the command against the Dodgers and no surprise it was here against the Brewers. He’s lucky to get his former team Pittsburgh in his final start of the year, and obviously, he should be started there. What a pickup he’s been.

Jake Odorizzi (ATL) @ WSH (ND) – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 68 pitches.

Bleeeegh. One whiff in 68 pitches?? Really?! I don’t care if you face the Marlins next to end your season, I’m not touching that…and maybe Atlanta isn’t either. They could let Kyle Muller have another go, after all.

Tyler Glasnow (TB) @ CLE (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 50 pitches.

Three frames was one more than I expected, but everything else looks on par. He was throwing heat again sitting 98 mph on his fastball, while featuring a good-lookin’ slider (it touched 93 mph! Okay, it’s kinda more like a cutter) and really, y’all know how good those heaters can be. He’ll likely go about 60-65 pitches in his final tune-up before the playoffs and I’ll still have him relatively low for that one – I don’t think that’s enough time to pitch more than four frames, five max – but he may do enough that it’s still worthwhile. Likely top of the third tier.

Will Vest (DET) vs KC (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 19 pitches.

It’s 2022 and there needs to be a bullpen game every day. Thems the rules.

Zac Gallen (ARI) @ HOU (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Coors, Dodgers, Astros, it really doesn’t matter, does it?

Jesús Luzardo (MIA) @ NYM (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 95 pitches.

It took some guts to start Luzardo against the Mets and I applaud you for them. What wonderful guts. The curve was gone once again, but fortunately the change was elite with 46% CSW and a 75% strike rate, the same changeup that reinvigorated Luzardo after returning from the IL. Pair that with 96.5 mph velocity, well then you’ve got a good stew cooking. He gets Atlanta next in his final test for 2022 and I’m still leaning toward starting the man. The change is so good.

Daniel Lynch (KC) @ DET (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 101 pitches.

Hey, I’m glad for Lynch that he was able to have success against a very poor opponent. He did so by featuring more changeups than sliders, oddly, and it’s not so marvelous that I’d reconsider Lynch in his final game of the year against the Guardians – not a chance.

José Ureña (COL) @ SF (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.

Is this as good as you could have possibly hoped for? I guess? Anyway, If you roster José, Ureña boatload of trouble. He’s not your season winner in the final week.

Martín Pérez (TEX) @ SEA (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Hmmmmm. I wouldn’t say this was peak Pérez in any fashion and I think he squeaked by to keep his ratios down. The Yankees are up next and with the fall in full force, I’m smelling too much pumpkin spice around this carriage and the clock is about to strike twelve.

Gerrit Cole (NYY) @ TOR (W) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 92 pitches.

Aces gonna allow another longball and fan just four, but come through otherwise. It hasn’t been a smooth month, you gotta keep starting the man, for the love of Koufax.

Luis Cessa (CIN) @ PIT (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 90 pitches.

No slider, no strikeouts. You ran into a PQS chasing those strikeouts, but if you’re not in a league with quality starts, this barely gave you anything. Don’t go for Cessa against the Cubs unless you really need to take the chance.

Taijuan Walker (NYM) vs MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 95 pitches.

I’m confounded to see 20 whiffs (Gallows Pole!) against the Marlins and yet terrible ratios. It just does not compute. Clearly, Walker is fine and had some bad luck here and Natty Lite should be a far better day at the park.

Dean Kremer (BAL) @ BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 95 pitches.

Yeaaaah no. Blegh. After a start like this, even if he took down Houston last time, you know you can’t start him against the Jays. You can take your team off of Dean’s list.

Josh Winder (MIN) vs CWS (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 91 pitches.

The six strikeouts are encouraging, but I’m still out on this one as he’ll get the ChiSox a second time and still has to figure out how to be serviceable across 5+ frames. All I want is Winder to be a cool summer breeze instead of a harsh “feels like” temperature.

Adrian Martinez (OAK) @ LAA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 80 pitches.

The slider was cool, the rest was not. There’s still a lot of tinkering left for Martinez to become fantasy relevant, but a tweak here, an adjustment there, and voila! That Young Gun becomes a poster on your wall in appreciation for what he’s done to your team. Sure don’t expect it to happen, but why not? There’s potential here.

Mitch White (TOR) vs NYY (ND) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 69 pitches.

He was jumped for three runs in the first and it messed up the rest of the start – not to say he was great otherwise or that we anticipated White to do anything better, I just felt it was an important note. Don’t follow the White rabbit.

Aaron Nola (PHI) @ CHC (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 95 pitches.

It’s weird to see a Golden Goal all the way down here but here we are. The life of Aaron Nola is simply not one of the easy paths and includes four-run frames that ruin everything. Y’all know this already.

Johnny Cueto (CWS) @ MIN (L) – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 83 pitches.

I gotta hand it to Cueto, he does a ridiculous job consistently placing his heaters and cutters at the top of the zone. Who cares, he got pummeled. But the command makes me think the magic isn’t gone and he could reverse it next Monday in one final start to regain his honor. I kinda believe he’ll do it as the line was worse than the performance.

 

Game of the Day 

Braxton Garrett vs. Eric Lauer – I’m hoping Lauer goes 5+ of dominance while I believe in Garrett to produce against a middling Brewers lineup.

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 John Cordes/Icon Sportswire and Nong V/Unsplash | 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.

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