Stop! Framber Time

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Wednesday.

Framber Valdez vs BOS (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 102 pitches.

After going just four frames and 72 pitches in his first start back from the IL, consider us all shocked when Framber Valdez went 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks across 102 pitches against the mighty Red Sox today. I feel like a grey wizard muttering “It’s just like the legends of 2020″ as Framber boasted a 35% CSW across 18 whiffs as well, featuring a sinker that was flat-out disgusting at times. Yes, I’m talking about the heater I’ve been skeptical about since 2019 and here it was, earning whiffs, plenty of outs, and double-digit called strikes.

Meanwhile, his curveball was the same elite pitch it’s been at a 43% CSW and all we can do is watch starry-eyed. The man underpromised and overperformed, and he’s making all of us silly who didn’t demand everyone stash him two weeks ago. It’s rare to see such a quick resurgence from the IL, but here he is, and let’s hope it sticks, repeating that 2020 magic.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

 

Sean Manaea @ SEA (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 111 pitches. The magic number is 91 for his fastball velocity and Manaea sat 93 mph on sinkers through his first seven frames in this one. That Sean, he’s so hot right now. It’s been his changeup that has taken a step forward through the year as well, taking the role of out-inducer tonight while his curveball acted as the main strike-earner and #2 pitch with a 35% CSW. The man even returned for the ninth despite tossing 103 pitches through eight. Hold onto this one tighter than a fresh balloon at the zoo.

Chris Flexen vs OAK (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 98 pitches. He was simply Flexen in the mirror as his cutter failed to earn a single whiff. Sure, it got some called strikes, but I need the pitch to overwhelm, not act like a lovely guest to a dinner party. Oh sure cutter, right this way into the strike zone. STRIKE FEAR.

Adbert Alzolay vs SD (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 83 pitches.

Alzolay got himself the Padres and it didn’t mean a dang thing as he almost earned a King Cole along the way. It’s hard not to fall for the kid, carrying a 35% CSW across 37 sliders and peppering the zone with fastballs. It helped to avoid Fernando Tatís Jr., but the rest of that lineup ain’t too shabby. Keep going to AA, it’s good for you.

Matt Harvey vs MIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 43 pitches.

They started Harvey on short rest, which isn’t a phrase I expected to hear in any situation this year and it was a decent “start”. Yay.

Jordan Montgomery vs TB (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.

Ayyyy, we’re back to liking The Bear again. Oddly enough, his curveball was good but not elite, with his changeup earning the CSW honors with a 31% clip. Solid pitch separation with fastballs up and curveballs down, splitting cutters and changeups a bit as well. In the end, he may just be a high-end Toby with a tinge more strikeout upside and I think we’re all okay with that in 12-teamers.

Jon Lester @ ATL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 87 pitches.

Lester served us a Philly as he held an 18% CSW and earned just three strikeouts. I feel like I hurt my ERA next week just staring at it.

Dinelson Lamet @ CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 72 pitches.

Four innings are the ultimate tease. “Will he make it to five?” we murmur nearly in unison as a crowd, huddled together dreaming of future bliss. It’s possible as he hadn’t thrown over 41 pitches before his last start, where he threw 64, and now he’s at 72. That’s likely the more important number here, not the innings total. I can imagine the Padres keeping Lamet around 70 for a few games, which opens the door to five frames. Just ajar, though, not a full swing and a hug while you’re at it. Annnnyway, should you pick him up now if he’s on the wire? I guess so, but it does likely require another start or two of limited ball. Just be ready for that.

Antonio Senzatela vs TEX (W) – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

Of course you did, Senz-a. Of course you did. Now you’re going to go to Miami, away from Colorado, and after all of us suggesting a stream there, you’re going to disappoint. Because that’s what you do.

Nick Pivetta @ HOU (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 111 pitches.

Hot dang! Pivetta is doing the thing! Mostly! The thing being the BSB as curveballs fell to the bottom of the zone and fastballs were…well around the zone a lot. Okay, so he’s not entirely there, but he’s certainly making for tough at-bats with a good amount of breakers for strikes. I’m not quite sure this warrants a start against the Yanks and Jays, but I can understand Pivetta if you’re in dire need.

Pablo López @ TOR (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

It’s a Dusty Donut from PabLó as he held poor ratios, but gave us a Gallows Pole and nine strikeouts along the way. He had his changeup and four-seamer but struggled to get the outs we normally see from the slow ball, while the Jays were able to foul off 23 of his pitches. It’s great to see him salvage the start regardless of the low inning count and it sets him up for likely success against Rockie Road next time out.

Randy Dobnak @ BAL (L) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 77 pitches.

He was one out away from a VVPQS, and even then, I would have felt wrong claiming a dub. Streaming Record: 39-22. I promise I’ll reach 40 at some point, I PROMISE. As for Dobnak, the slider was actually kinda good, but his heater isn’t getting the same results as last year. Just like the final reliever on the 2013 Marlins team, forget about him. I wonder who that was…

Walker Buehler vs STL (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 103 pitches.

Aces gonna ace, despite the VPQS. You may not be happy about it, but aces still give you production to salvage things when they don’t bring the ratios, and a dub + nine strikeouts will do. His heater was absurdly good here and it really didn’t feel like he should have left with a 4.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP.

Jordan Lyles @ COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 87 pitches.

Lyles went to Coors, and I should just end the blurb there. You know what, I think I will.

Drew Smyly vs WSH (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 90 pitches.

Yeaaaah we’ve been done with Smyly for a bit now. He’s just doing anything new as he sits 92.5 – 93 mph with a decent curveball. It ain’t how we Drew it up in the preseason.

Shane McClanahan @ NYY (L) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 79 pitches.

Blegh. Just when you thought McShane could be on the verge of his first six-inning start, he lost his fastball command, featuring four-seamers well hittable in the heart of the zone. His slider was still fantastic, though, and I think his changeup is coming along. He just didn’t have the greatest fastball command the Yankees were able to capitalize in this one — not a given these days. Keep holding on.

Alek Manoah vs MIA (ND) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 74 pitches.

Nooooo. Manoah looked so good against the Yankees and didn’t have close to the same repertoire against the Marlins. That changeup he threw with confidence last week? 0/6 CSW. Just six! His slider went 1/17 on whiffs and all I can do is hear Ted Berg’s Small Sample Size song in my head. It goes both ways as I don’t believe this is the Manoah we’re going to see, either. FWIW, he did take a comebacker and stay in the game (maybe it affected him?) and I’m still starting him against the White Sox next.

Madison Bumgarner vs NYM (ND) – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 48 pitches.

Apparently, Bumgarner has been hiding an injury for a few weeks, which would explain the whole “I’m still throwing hard, but my command is poor” schtick. Expect him to miss some time and you can send him back to the wire.

David Peterson @ ARI (ND) – 0.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 35 pitches.

Ouch. He was horrific against the Sneks the first time around, and this was more of the same, getting the hook after 35 pitches and just one out. He’s a streamer against the right offense, and don’t think otherwise.

Carlos Martínez @ LAD (L) – 0.2 IP, 10 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 10% CSW, 39 pitches.

Oh no. Let’s just ignore CarMart for a good while now, shall we?

 

Game of the Day 

 

Elieser Hernández vs Pittsburgh Pirates – Elieser is returning and I’m so curious to see where he is.

 

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

 

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 pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar DB says:

    Manoah got hit hard by Chisholm who tattoos even the best pitchers best offerings, then got sent deep on an 88mph breaking pitch waaaay inside and low off the plate by Aguilar.

    His regular command simply wasn’t there and he certainly wasn’t efficient. He couldn’t really stay in the zone from the first few pitches onward and got quite a few umpire gifts, so I’m not saying this was a good outing in any way, but the runs plated weren’t coming on easy pitches.

    The line is what he deserved for the quality of his performance, but he wasn’t scored on when he made mistakes in the zone. He was outside of the zone during almost every at-bat. I think the nerves of being in the bigs caught up with him, and the long delay while Devers whined and rolled around because of fouling a ball off himself… somewhere(?) was probably a bigger issue than Manoah catching a ball off his leg.

    Seems like he’s big into timing and quick pitch pace, and that didn’t work for him this time.

  • Avatar Mario says:

    OK now that’s a good headline & graphic!

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