The Lucchesi of the Unexpected Success

(Photo by Carlos Herrera/Icon Sportswire)

In his third start of the season, Joey Lucchesi threw a gem of 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hit, 1 BBs, 8 Ks in Coors. Yes, in Coors. It came with 15 whiffs – a near 30% whiff rate on his curveball – and only allowed one hit off Nolan Arenado’s bat. This may be the outing that makes you say “Nick, my buddy, my dude, you have to get on board here.” Sorry, I just can’t do it. He’s a two-pitch pitcher with a 90mph heater that gives him such a low floor and without that third pitch, he will walk batters. A lot. I guess I don’t have a problem owning him at the backend of a 12-teamer, but I don’t see him ever touching Top 50 status – that curveball isn’t good enough to carry him on its own – which means I’m happier chasing other options. This just seems like an Amir Garrett situation instead of an Alex Wood, and I can see many of you now nodding your heads in understanding. Phew, glad we got there.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Andrew Cashner – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Sooooo Cashner is actually kinda good right now and it’s weird. That’s two straight starts of commanding all his pitches effectively, first the Yankees now the Jays. If I knew he’d perform like these each day, I’d totally be on board, but I don’t and I’d Cash Out.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. If you’re surprised to see this, don’t worry, so am I. He legit looked good tonight and while it’s not the craziest thing in the world for Ryu to do well, it’s more that he pitched six frames without dirt causing a contusion on his ankle. I give him about three weeks before he’s “DTD” again, and the starts before then are a complete coin flip. Up to you if you’re a gambling man.

Stephen Strasburg – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Phew, glad to have you back.

Josh Tomlin – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeah, this is a One Night Bland that you’ll forget even happened in a few weeks.

Homer Bailey – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Dang, Homer Bale killed it! I hate how I legit don’t know who is going to show up on a given day – maybe it’s the one who loves Sarah, or maybe the one who loves Olivia. Fortunately for me, I got the…I got the right one. Streaming Record: 6-4. Unfortunately I don’t know which one he’ll be next time, the one on the stage, or the one in the box, and that means he goes back on the wire.

Matt Boyd – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Yes I’m still Boyd Watching and so should you.

Carlos Martinez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s only four strikeouts, but whatever, you’ll take it.

Aaron Nola – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He went 103 pitches and eight innings. Thank the lord “Kaplering” isn’t actually a thing.

Jake Odorizzi – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. Yes, the first thing I did was check how many Curveballs he threw. No I’m not happy with just 12 and one swing-and-miss as a result. Why won’t you let me be happy, Odorizzi? WHY?!

Chris Sale – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace as Sale earned himself another Gallows Pole at 21 whiffs. That’s 2-for-3, right?

Aaron Sanchez – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. I blame this non-no-hitter on two people: Gary Thorne for saying “no-hitter” seemingly every sentence starting in the sixth and Josh Donaldson for not sacrificing his body on that hot shot through his legs. Anyway, Sanchez’s movement was absurd tonight and I’m all for owning him as long as he’s healthy…which is why I hate him long term. I expect all the hate mail for the next two months as he’s on the field, but you’ll see come July, you’ll see.

Tyler Skaggs – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Nope, I don’t think Skaggs can continue to have a 1.80 WHIP that matches his ERA. It just doesn’t work like that.

Blake Snell – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 10 Ks. Guess what! Snell used his breaking pitches near 30% of the time! Why are you so excited? Because I’ve been preaching for the fella to sit above 25% breakers for ages and he finally did it en route to a successful afternoon. Well, fine, five walks are bad, but he held back on his changeup in favor of curveballs and sliders and it helped him get 17 whiffs on the day. Just one more step left to 35% and trusting them over the plate for strikes and BAM! You could have a Top 30 starter, no joke. I’m excited, y’all. I legit didn’t think we’d see this so soon. It’s not fully there just yet, but I’m excited.

Brent Suter – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. If you keep trusting Brent, he’s going to disappoint you Suter or later. Seriously though, don’t do it.

Tyler Anderson – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Anderson had a field day against the Padres in San Diego, and now he had a repeat back in Colorado. You’re not supposed to have two field days in a row, that’s just bad schooling. He got the job done with his standard four-seamer/changeup/cutter approach, and I guess it works at times, but I still just don’t buy this regularly. I spent yesterday talking about how Gray is debatable for your squad and Anderson is a far notch lower despite these two starts. Next up is at Washington – nope – then hosting the Cubs in Coors – double nope. You can do this, take the blue pill, Mr. Anderson.

Tyler Beede – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. I haven’t been able to say this much so far, but Beede is a Cup of Schmo and doesn’t deserve your time.

Patrick Corbin – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Corbin was looking as fly as a Venus trap in his first five frames, but it got a little unhinged in the sixth, including a fantastic bases-loaded 0 out at-bat against Andrew McCutchen that felt like a sexual playoff game with all its tension. Seriously though, I’m absolutely loving the changes of slider speeds Corbin is bringing to the table and he looks so locked in. Buy buy buy like Timberlake and Co.

Mike Foltynewicz – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Welcome to the tale of Folty, where he will tease you for two, then ruin your life for three. Welcome to a PEAS.

Sean Manaea – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. After allowing back-to-back HRs to start the game, Manaea allowed 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BB (to Ryu on a full count, of course), and 5 Ks. Let’s just not allow HRs to lead off games moving forward, alright?

Carson Fulmer – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeaaaah, don’t go with Fulmer. Just don’t.

Felix Hernandez – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. He was one out away from a PQS, but with 3 Ks and seven baserunners, this whole start turned into one blob of blegh. Thanks for nothing, Pauper Felix.

Dallas Keuchel – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey there Keuchel. That’s the second game in a row where you’ve had four walks and we’re all a little worried about you. I know, I know, you’ve done this before and I should just give you the TIARA and forget about it, but can you, like, not be so bad? It’s crushing our souls like Miguel Sano gripping his bat. There’s stress involved and it’s making it worse.

Ivan Nova – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m amazed to see six strikeouts and just a 1.00 WHIP. The QS is somewhat regular and Nova does have some value there, but otherwise this is a bit of an anomaly. Let’s be real, 18 whiffs?! Seriously?

Caleb Smith – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, Smith decided not to walk everyone and their barbers and BAM! 1 Walk and 7 Ks. Sure, just five frames and 3 ER make this one a little sour, and the strikeouts didn’t come with the overabundance of swings-and-misses we saw the first time, but I’m happy to feel in any way encouraged here. Only for deep leagues would I consider a pickup.

Jacob deGrom – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. No deGrom, you’re not supposed to do this. I didn’t even recognize him on the hill tonight. I KNOW! His changeup wasn’t nearly as good as it’s been in the past, he labored in that fifth inning, and this was against the super weak Marlins…wait. You were talking about his new haircut, weren’t you. Why would anyone chop off that luscious hair?!

Tyler Chatwood – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. You know what the crazy part about this is? A 7:1 K per walk. Everything else is totally Chatwood and should hopefully end the chatter of him getting “cheated” of spot on The List.

Luis Severino – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. What’s remarkable here is that Sevy still earned 17 whiffs. It sucks, you’re disappointed, I’m disappointed, my neighbors are disappointed as they sure didn’t have a peaceful evening with these thin walls, but let’s stay positive for next time. It’s what he would want. And my neighbors. They definitely want that.

Eric Skoglund – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because I’m a parrot and that’s what I am. I wish Skoglund was actually super good so his name would in some manner become a household name. Skoglund…

Martin Perez – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. When you’re having a bad day, just stop, breathe, and tell yourself “at least I’m not being hung out to dry like Perez on a Tuesday.”

Today’s Streamer

Nick Pivetta vs. Cincinnati Reds – He looked stellar last time out with fantastic breaking pitches and it’s possible it continues against a better offense.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chris Stratton vs. San Diego Padres It’s a much better matchup than the previous two games, it’s possible he pulls it off.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Tyson Ross vs. San Francisco Giants – I would ideally wait another start or two before putting any faith in Ross, but with Reynaldo Lopez now owned in over 25% of leagues I don’t feel right picking him. I could go with Chad Kuhl against the fish, but he’s inconsistent and I’m feeling good about Ross for whatever reason.

Game of the Day

Luis Castillo vs. Nick Pivetta – I’m rooting so hard for Casty to turn it around and I’d love to see Pivetta continue his momentum after his nine strikeout performance.

Nick Pollack

Founder of PitcherList.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

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Comments


Brent Erickson

Nick, what if I told you he had 0 ER, 4 hits, 1 BBs and 8 Ks? I’m sure it doesn’t change anything. I’m staring at Chase (The Ace) Anderson and don’t know what to do if his noodle arm is what it is. I hope you delve in the pod who you might drop for Lucchesi. Love all the new content this year.

Nick Pollack

My tool let me down! It looks like it duplicated Snell’s line.

These are the things I should realize late at night, especially when I watched Lucchessi’s start.

But yeah, it doesn’t change anything about my outlook of him – Newcomb had a great K/BB outing himself the other day.

I’m definitely giving some space for Lucchessi this morning (and glad to finally know how to actually pronounce his name for once!). Hold Chase, though. I’m still holding out that this will be like last year where his velocity didn’t jump until May or so.

Play Ball

I was excited when I picked up Corbin for Jon Gray after his stellar first two starts, watching him cruise through the first 5 innings…and then that 6th inning! Tell me I got a winner and that this one inning isn’t a harbinger of things to come with the old Corbin and control issues coming back.

Nick Pollack

If you know me, I very rarely give actual concrete numbers akin to projections.

I can see Corbin being a strong strikeout arm through the year and looking a lot more like his first two starts + the first five of this one than just one frame of last night’s. It seems clear what the outlier is.

Nick Pollack

I don’t expect Yonny to go long enough in this one for a QS and ratio wise his limited PC – even as the official starter, he should still be capped a little earlier than others – lowers his ceiling.

I don’t trust Wheeler’s stuff to make up for its poor command and I’d pass if I could. Better chance than Yonny for a QS, though.

Ryan

I think your line for Luchessi is wrong. I’m seeing that he threw 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1BB, 8 K @ Coors last night

Nick Pollack

100%. I didn’t catch the error with the tool I use to make these, which is silly when I watched the dang start.

Thanks for the catch, though! It doesn’t change my analysis of him.

Chucky

The King didn’t have much ST with that contusion, courtesy of a comebacker. Having said that, his past two roads games @ SF and @ KC weren’t exactly balmy July nights, albeit not exactly v Murderers Row either. Can we safely assume the King has seen better days or can the King still be a useful #5 type SP streamer?

Nick Pollack

I think a #6/7 can totally happen for Felix, but a #5 equates to a Manaea type to me and I just don’t see that happening.

Not sure I buy the whole “he needs to get warmed up” in both cases you described. Yes, I a am little proud of myself for that mini joke before 9:00am.

Larry

Manaea got into a groove after the tumultuous first. Kind of a bummer he was pulled after 87 pitches. He had at least another one in him.

A huge fan

I had to run this by you since it’s two of your guys. I’ve been trying to buy low on Castillo and finally got a counter asking for Paxton. I know they are two favorites on the list but who would you pick between the two?

larry womack

Who would you stream tomorrow
Wacha @ Cin
Stratton @ SD

Who would you stream
Erod @ Balt.
Lucchesi vs SFG
Or both?
Thank you

Tim

Was the Homer Bale nickname always supposed to be a play on Christian Bale, or did you take advantage of that just to make the Prestige reference? Nicely played lol.

Nick D

Hey Nick – you starting Duffy today? 5×5 standard, more worried about ratios than wins or k’s, leaning sit. Also have Pax and Castillo going.

Nick Pollack Superfan

Hey Nick,

Great work with the articles so far this year. Loving the added content!

I know that you have Bauer ranked ahead of Corbin in the latest Pitcher List, but after seeing Corbin’s performance last night, would you drop Bauer to pick him up in an 8 teamer?

Steve

10/10 just for that prestige reference combined with homer looking like bale. The rest of the article is just icing on the cake.

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