(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)
Alright, I’m going to be honest here. I mean, I always am, but you understand. I don’t think I’ve gotten more angry tweets/emails/comments/etc. after a start than I did yesterday when Michael Fulmer went 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks against the Angels and I completely understand why. I definitely went against the grain to promote Fulmer when I could have very easily slotted him around 40, you guys put your faith in me, and I let you down. It sucks and no one is more upset about the result than me. Sorry. I watched this start and while I could say “it was a 3-run HR on his first changeup of the game that did him in,” this was more than that. He couldn’t finish at-bats like he has previously while losing more hitters than normal and while I thought he was taking steps forward in previous outings, this was a major step back. I could do two things now: drop Fulmer plenty and give up, dropping him to about, 45 or so, which is the easy thing to do, or give him a small drop to the early 30s. Understand me here, I don’t have emotion tied to this – I genuinely believe in the skill set of Fulmer, from the improved slider to a hard fastball that often ends at-bats quickly to a changeup that can run a game on its own. That’s the problem, I see something different than what the results have been thus far. I’ve always been about numbers + scouting combined and here, well, we’re at a crossroads. My gut says hold Fulmer and power through this, and it’s okay if we don’t see eye-to-eye. it’s super easy to see why you don’t like him. And maybe he’s a PEAS in the end, but I still believe that the next four months – the performances that matter now – won’t be this bad. I’m leaning that Fulmer will be around the backend of the 30s come Monday. Also, love you all, even with the rage. It means you care.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Jake Arrieta – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Arrieta is back to using more sliders again and it’s…kinda working? He did all of his work with his sinker in this one – 19 CSW + 15 balls in play across 65 thrown – but he shelved his changeup and curveball for 23 sliders here and gave back a 6 CSW. Meh. Thing is, now Arrieta has a 2.16 ERA and only 25.4% hard contact allowed…but a 0.31 HR/9 doesn’t seem sustainable + his strikeout rate is still 17.2%. I’d sell high if people are buying that 2.16 ERA, but he’s still definitively Top 40 as long as his sinker is still so effective.
Kyle Gibson – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. I would like to point out that Gibson had 8 Ks combined in his previous two starts and was looking like he was trending in the wrong direction. Slider whiffs are back – 10 for 30 here and 15 across all pitches – with a fantastic 36/101 CSW. Too bad he gets the Indians/Angels next, but I can understand rolling with him if you need the starts.
Steven Matz – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Matz left this one early with a finger injury. Wait, no, because he pitches for the Mets.
Blake Snell – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace as you can’t stop Snell from dominating. It’s a Gallows Pole as well despite the non-overwhelming 16 whiffs. 32 CSW in 97 pitches is a wonderful thing.
Mike Clevinger – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. ATTA BOY CLEV. 19% whiff rates across all 52 secondary pitches and that low walk rate is just oh-so-pretty. Please give us another next time against the Twins.
Danny Duffy – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. If you’re looking at this and thinking Duffy played with fire, you’d be completely right. This is ridiculous and makes me think the only full step Duffy has taken is on the piano. He plays Mahler so wonderfully.
Michael Wacha – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Sure, it’s four walks and only three Ks. That’s really disheartening. However, Wacha now has a 1.86 ERA over his last eight starts. That’s gorgeous.
Zack Godley – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Ayyyyy Godley rebounded! His curveball returned 20.5% whiffs and the low walk count is great, though I want a little better than a 25 CSW in 94 pitches. Encouraging, of course, but not completely out of the doghouse. Next up are the Giants and let’s hope he takes care of business.
Jeremy Hellickson – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Our reluctant Call Boy was alright against the Orioles, leaving with just 81 pitches. Just 3 Ks and no QS, but he got you a Win, a 3.60 ERA, and 1.20 WHIP. Sure. I can’t call him The Devil anymore since he’s done enough to endure the burning homes at this point.
Kenta Maeda – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Because yesterday was clearly the day for everyone to get injured, Maeda left early with a hip strain. Yep. Can we get one season of Maeda without the headaches?
Rick Porcello – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid rebound from Porcello after a couple of bad outings. Still not the massive resurgence I wanted to see – just a 24 CSW in 96 pitches – but good.
Jeff Samardzija – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Loose Lips exited early because
he was terrible of a tight shoulder. A DL stint may be just what this man needs.
Nick Tropeano – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Our back up Call boy did work against the Tigers, keeping up his role as a possible streamer. Not a roster guy, just an “oh hey, sure” kind of guy.
Dylan Bundy – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Bundy allowed 11 Hits in 21 balls in play while still earning over 25% whiffs on his slider and maintaining that beautiful 92mph fastball velocity. I know the VVVPQS hurts, but I’m still on this train.
Kyle Freeland – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. There is nothing to like here. Nothi– *suit man whispers in my ear*. Oh, he got a Win? WINS ARE THE WORST. It was the Rocky Mountain Way n all hosting the Giants, but I can’t be the only one that feels really queasy buying into it each time.
Daniel Gossett – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. That 2.20 WHIP and just 3 Ks with a terrible ERA sure makes this a standard Gosse Egg.
Nick Kingham – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You know what is the worst? Getting kicked out of the game with one out left by JON LESTER. That’s right, Kingham would have held a 6.0 IP, 2 ER outing but Lester singled Heyward home. What. The. Hell. I love Kingham and if he’s dropped after this, you best snatch him up as he’s taking Ivan Nova’s spot in the rotation and gets the Cardinals next.
Charlie Morton – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace…kinda. I know 10 Ks, but it’s hard to say that when a guy holds a VPQS, you know?
Tyson Ross – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh, I want more than 4 Ks Ross, especially against the Marlins. WHAT IS THIS.
CC Sabathia – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. CC had the Astros, so we didn’t expect much of anything here. Just play the matchups right and he can help.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. The Digglerx is as mediocre as a slice of pizza from 7-11. There may be a day that you have to get it and you feel terrible about it.
Luis Castillo – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Uggggh, Castillo couldn’t get himself into a rhythm here and we want plenty more going against the Diamondbacks, especially with a changeup that nullifies lefties and the dBacks’ LHB heavy lineup. I should note that 13 whiffs and a near 96mph fastball velocity (maxed out at 98!) came with this one, but considering that he’s still not locked in, I think Castillo should take a few steps back on The List.
Marco Estrada – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. I’m giving Estrada the Judgement Day of July 1st. BOOK IT.
Jon Lester – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. We knew the ERA was falling eventually, but this isn’t so bad and at least you got 6 Ks as well. Still not good, though.
Anibal Sanchez – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. DLH + Anibal? Oh baby, this was easier to predict than an MTA delay during your morning commute.
Dan Straily – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. He was so close to escaping with a QS and 2 ER to his name through six, but with two outs in the sixth, Franmil Reyes went yard – 442 feet yard – and ended the evening for Straily. He’s still just a streaming option, nothing more. Streaming Record: 32-18.
Zach Davies – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Don’t start Zach or you’ll soon be…Pushing Davies.
Lucas Giolito – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. No walks! Seriously, I don’t care about the ER, if he’s not walking batters, that’s a massive step in the right direction.
Felix Hernandez – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s a bit sad where Prince Felix, no, Pauper Felix is at these days. I hope he does make some sort of recovery as he was so good for so long and he deserves better.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day
Alex Reyes vs. I DON’T CARE – It is time.