The Lito Engine That Could

I know I led with Lucas Giolito after his first start and it probably isn’t fair to go with him again just two starts later, but I need to discuss his 7.0...

I know I led with Lucas Giolito after his first start and it probably isn’t fair to go with him again just two starts later, but I need to discuss his 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks outing against the Rays as it’s the second straight great performance from Giolito. If you saw my breakdown of his MLB Debut, you’ll know I talked a ton about getting his backfoot elevated in the air, which was a problem with his mechanics that led to plenty of poorly thrown Fastballs. I also mentioned that he needed another secondary pitch like his mythical Slider thrown in the minors to help get strikes when his Fastball lets him down. Well, both those problems have been addressed with Giolito throwing plenty of Sliders, getting whiffs on his Changeup, and his backfoot is consistently up in the air helping propel his momentum to the plate. It’s fantastic and it’s blowing my mind that we saw him make a huge adjustment so quickly. I wasn’t expecting this until whispers in Spring Training with us being hopeful it would show up in April. Good news here is that should he stick in the rotation (don’t see why not) the ChiSox have a lax schedule the rest of the way where I’d start Giolito every time out, espeically when he’s winning the Gallows Pole like this. Let it ride, let it ride.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Luis Severino – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He’s just so good and the Yanks are still mum about an innings limit, so let’s just act like that isn’t happening. Which we can’t do about Luis Castillowho will be making his final start of the year this Wednesday…

Chris Sale – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Dude, I don’t get you. It’s not like his velocity was down – 95.1mph average, but you had a 5.5% whiff rate, which is by far the lowest of the entire season. In fact, he only had one start below 10% in 27 starts piror, and just two under 12%. Get it together.

Madison Bumgarner – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. What is it with you guys. I still trust Bumgarner down the stretch, but you’re killing some teams here.

Brent Suter – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. He took the spot of Matt Garza and hasn’t been stretched out yet. I wouldn’t be investing in this at all.

Trevor Williams – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. On one hand, Williams has allowed just 2 ER across three games vs. the Cubs, Dodgers, and Reds. On the other, his xFIP is 5.05 in those games with a 6.30 K/9 and 3.60 BB/9. Just sayin’.

Andrew Albers – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. This is a Birthday Party for Albers and nothing more.

Max Fried – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. You don’t want your pitching Fried, just like you don’t want your food Fast.

Zack Godley – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 7 Ks. Soooooo I’m really happy about this start n all, but why did you have to walk six batters?! Whatever, you survived Coors and the Dodgers, now you get a super easy five game schedule ahead and we can all celebrate.

Sal Romano – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeaaah those walks are always going to be there.

Jake Thompson – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Well hot dang this is gorgeous as he had his first start with a whiff rate over 9%. He threw his Changeup and Slider more than he has in any of his three other starts, and he only had two starts of 9%+ in his 10 from last season…without a game of 30% Sliders. It could be something as the pitch was flat out filthy in this one, it could be just one of those days. He gets the Nationals next…which even with their struggles without Harper I’m not sure I’m willing to bet on Thompson after just one start. Let’s see what happens.

Josh Tomlin – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Raise your hand if you’re happy to see Tomlin in the rotation. Jimmy, put down your hand. Sorry Nick.

Jose Urena – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s the 3 ER rule with Urena and he made it happen here.

Jhoulys Chacin – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. Seriously, this was the Dodgers and now he heads to Arizona + Coors, then Dodgers again with maybe a couple of okays starts against the Diamondbacks and Giants both in San Diego.

Ian Kennedy – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. If you’re trying to seduce me Kennedy, it might be best not to fan just one batter. What about a sympathy…Just stop.

Luke Weaver – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. And Weaver keeps rolling. Man does he look good right now, I wonder what his draft stock will be.

Brett Anderson – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Anderson had one of two PQS and if that’s what you really needed, then cool, good for you. In standard formats, I hope that sub 1.20 WHIP really did wonders for you.

Daniel Gossett – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. No Gosse egg from Daniel, and it wasn’t even close. A WHIP north of 3.00 is as brutal as they come.

Mike Montgomery – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Ehhh, it’s super boring and far from an exciting gamble with a blegh floor to go with that cottage ceiling. But it’s cozy! You must not be 6’4″.

Martin Perez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, whatever Perez.

Chris Tillman – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. You Can’t Spell Win With Tillman. 

Edwin Jackson – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m taking the tie for this one as 4 ER hurts, but the WHIP and 5 Ks help. Keep starting EJax with his easy schedule the rest of the way. Streamer Record 69-53-15.

German Marquez – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Weird to see nine Ks and just eight whiffs across 97 pitches, but there you are. I’m pretty impressed given that he had to host the Diamondbacks inside of Coors. Now he has to head to L.A. and then Arizona and I’m still uneasy about it. At least you have a good ceiling to chase and he could possibily salvage a bad start with 5-6+ Ks…so maybe? Really depends on your situation.

Ervin Santana – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Two Ks? Four ER? Nine Baserunners? Against the Royals? I thought you supposed to be good against bad teams Santana. Okay, you get four bad teams out of five left, make it count this time, okay? Thanks.

Alex Wood – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. 91.3mph, because I’m sure you were wondering. I want that number to be higher and I want a better outing from Wood against the Padres. Next up are the Rockies in L.A., and I’m good starting him the rest of the way, he’s just not a Top 20 arm ROS though.

Matt Andriese – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It was DLH from Andriese, though I’d be shocked if people really expected great things here. There could be sneaky value down the stretch with many people forgetting that he is even an option. And when I say sneaky value, I mean for that one possible start against the Orioles near the end of September as he faces the Red Sox twice in a row now.

Chad Bell – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. With Verlander gone, Bell was given a ring and got his bell rung. Poor Chad.

Andrew Heaney – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Man, Heaney just can’t run away from the HRs as he allowed another three in this one. Obviously there was more wrong with him here as he walked four, but the whole package is just disappointing as he looked so good in his previous outing. The Rangers are tough at home, so there is that

Mike Fiers – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Fiers, it’s great to see you taking advantage of your finals days in the Astros rotation.

Chris Flexen – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. No beach day today Flexen. Not today.

Today’s Streamer

Jakob Junis vs. Detroit Tigers – He’s been on a roll in his last four starts and the Tigers offense looks absolutely miserable right now. I can see people streaming Rafael Montero against the Phils as well.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Robert Stephenson vs. Milwaukee Brewers – He’s striking out a ton and while that floor is poor, it may still be salvageable if it happens. Garrett Richards also returns this day against the A’s and I’d be tempted to start that one…but he has to be on a strict pitch count and you’re better off waiting for the next one.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Nick Pivetta vs. New York Mets – It’s the Mets. Yes please.

Game of the Day

Robbie Ray vs. Rich Hill – Two excellent lefties facing off. I’m most interested in seeing if Ray can dominate the Dodgers a second time.

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.

One response to “The Lito Engine That Could”

  1. Soggy Arm says:

    Any thoughts on Peters or Slegers? BTW 1st round bye. Lots of credit here because didn’t have a top 30 SP going into the year. Yes yes y’all!

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