(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Here’s something I don’t think you realized. After Mike Leake’s line of 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks against the Orioles, Leake is sporting a 2.34 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 7+ IPS over his last seven starts. He’s faced the Sawx twice, Angels, Rays twice, O’s and Twins in that span, allowing 2 ER or fewer in all but one game during the hot streak, and that’s pretty impressive. Sure, the 15.3% K rate is all kinds of lacking and the .214 BABIP + 91.2% LOB Rate is far from believable, though this could be a Vargas Rule situation. With the Angels ahead twice in a row (bottom third in wOBA), I’m game to throw Leake out there and see what happens.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Zack Greinke – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I don’t quote myself often, and I apologize in advance, but just two starts ago I said “I think he’s a solid buy-low right now as his underlying numbers speak to a 26% K rate, 1.15 WHIP, and 3.30 ERA.” He’s since had two straight shutout performances, lowering his ERA from 3.90 to 3.41 in the process, while boasting a 1.11 WHIP and 25.7% K rate. Looks right to me.
Lance McCullers – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. I feel like it’s time to give McCullers the AGA label. I talked about McCullers not bringing his A-Game a few starts ago and now he’s gone 25 Ks in three outings. Enjoy the Gallows Pole with 20 whiffs and, please, please stay healthy.
Jake Odorizzi – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. You could spend a lot of time discussing this one. Or you could just say Blame it on the ChiSox and call it a day. I suggest the latter.
Ryne Stanek – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Get out of here Stanek, Yarbrough went 6.1 frames of 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BB and 4 Ks afterward, sealing a win against the Astros. Still don’t think it’s worth your time to go with Yarbrough save for SP/RP situations, but hats off for doing well against Houston.
Lucas Giolito – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Giolito walks there and escaped the first unscathed. Then he somehow bore down and cruised through the next 5.1 frames. Interesting. Also interesting are just four whiffs but 19 curveballs thrown – that’s a lot of curveballs! Across BIP, Fouls, CS, Whiffs, it was technically 12 for strikes and that’s significant. You have to understand, Giolito has struggled massively with the big hook and any indication that he’s getting a feel for it is a great thing. We’re not even close to investing but at least there’s something to talk about here.
Brian Johnson – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s a long way to the top if you’re going to roster Johnson.
Clayton Kershaw – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. It doesn’t matter who he pitches against (Cubs), Kershaw looks back. Limited to just 68 pitches here, hopefully he can go past 80 next time, which would probably be at least six frames, let’s be honest as it’s great to have TATIAGA back.
Aaron Nola – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I love Nola Day. You should love Nola Day. Aces gonna ace. Also, Nationals are kinda bad offensively. Write that down.
Tanner Roark – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Roark got a bit more on track, even with a 1.67 WHIP, as he faced the Phils. Still giving him the skeptical stink eye, kinda Mad-Eye Moody style, and he knows he deserves it.
Jaime Barria – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m surprised Barria was able to tango with the Sawx here and I’m still questioning his next two starts against the Mariners. Second half? Yeah I’m all for it there.
Sean Manaea – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Manaea has had a weird season ERA wise. First it was a six game stretch of 1.03 ERA (April), then six games of 7.13 ERA (May), and for June, it’s been five games of 2.84 ERA. It seems to be a product of his fluctuating changeup, which eluded him during the trough of the season. I bring this up because his slow ball was…pretty mediocre yesterday against the Tigers, earning just 3 whiffs in 25 pitches (4 whiffs overall!), leading to a 19/87 CSW. Blegh. He completely abandoned his slider as well, throwing just a pair all game, and I’d be skeptical to start him next time…except that he gets the Padres next. So that’s nice. Houston after is terrible, but you can’t have it all.
Jimmy Yacabonis – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Nothing like waking up to a Cup of Schmo. Seriously, I have the mug and it’s wonderful.
Jose Quintana – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. Quintana has been moving down The List all year and it’s hard to see him climbing back up any time soon.
Trevor Richards – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. You survived Coors last time and you clearly used up all your luck.
Anthony DeSclafani – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. He’s one ER away from making this work and we can all blame Amir Garrett for allowing yet another HR to Eric Thames, allowing a pair of inherited runners to score. Thanks for the Careful Icarus – said no one ever.
Michael Fulmer – 8.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Fulmer is such a ridiculous man. His changeup still isn’t doing what it has in the past, which is holding back his upside, but this start was something else. He allowed 4 ER through four frames and we all were upset and frustrated and forcing dogs to bark around the neighborhood as I wailed. But then he went another four innings allowing just two hits and suddenly it’s a start that isn’t so bad. A 1.13 WHIP and 5 Ks are cool and a 4.50 ERA is…okay I’m not happy with that but at least he went 8 to save us…? Yeah, I’m upset too. Thing is, I’m still starting him against the Cubs and Rangers in his next two starts. I know. I know.
Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. One ER too many for us to accept this Guerra, but you got us a Win and 6 Ks so fine, whatever. Twins are next and that’s gravy.
Jon Gray – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Nothing like Gray to make a slumping team like San Francisco to get hot. Come on Jon, you know better than to wake up sleeping Giants! Do you guys still believe he’s going to fix this season? Why?
Chris Stratton – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. All I could choose was him or Tony Disco, so I was destined to fail today. Womp womp. You could have gone with Giolito. Like that was ever going to happen. Streaming Record 48-27.
Felix Pena vs. Baltimore Orioles – I kinda dug his shtick last time out, this is the Orioles, and I don’t love the other options. It’s between Pena and Tyler Anderson against the Dodgers, and I don’t blame you for rolling with Anderson instead.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day
Jacob deGrom vs. Sandy Alcantara – Alcantara is finally getting his chance to start and I’m excited to see how he looks. Oh, and deGrom n all.