This Is The Gray

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Tuesday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Twitch weekday mornings from 9 am-11 am ET.  

Josiah Gray vs ARI (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 87 pitches.

I remember being excited for Josiah Gray last season when he was dealt to the nation’s capital. No, it wasn’t because the Dodgers were getting Scherzer and Turner, but it was for Gray to have an unimpeded path to regular starts in the majors. We didn’t see him come to form in full down the stretch last year, though I’ve had a feeling we’d see Gray blossom during 2022 as he accumulated more time on the professional bump.

Tuesday night brought a glimpse of what’s to come via 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 87 pitches against the Diamondbacks. I say glimpse because I don’t believe he’s quite there yet (just 3/47 four-seamer whiffs & his slider and changeup were unimpressive), but it’s lovely to be served a reminder for Gray’s potential: I don’t think there’s any doubt in his ability to hold a 25%+ strikeout rate. I do want to bring a word of caution, though. Gray has not elevated far enough away from his September 2021 self — there will be many bumps along the road ahead. This was a great night against the Diamondbacks, but I’d still be cautious against the Giants ahead.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

 

Joan Adon vs ARI (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 88 pitches.

Well ain’t that cool. I saw the line and was hoping to see something different from the 94/95 heater and lack-o’-whiffs curveball….but that’s what we saw here. Blame it on the Diamondbacks. He gets Miami next and I think that’s a trap. But hey, maybe not and he’s worthy in your NL-Only.

Matt Wisler @ CHC (ND) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 18 pitches.

Wisler tossed 18 sliders and zero fastballs. I think that’s so awesome. He opened for Josh Fleming who followed for 3.1 innings of 3 ER and that wasn’t awesome. Be more like Matt.

Tyler Alexander vs NYY (L) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 42 pitches.

After dropping an easy pop-up in the infield, T-Lex tossed 42 pitches in the opening frame, ending his night incredibly early. So yeah, that happened.

Max Fried @ LAD (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 93 pitches.

Fried, I’m so proud of you. You struggled in your first outing, did okay in your second, and not only dominated the Dodgers, but struck out the side in the seventh to bring it home. Your velocity was still up (now firmly at 95 mph!), while the slider, curveball, and even changeup were effective. THIS is the man we know Fried to be. Let’s just hope he stays this way for the indefinite future.

Patrick Sandoval @ HOU (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.

So he “survived” against the Astros, but only went four frames and held a 1.50 WHIP. I’ll take it over the potential blowup. He didn’t get enough strikes with his changeup here (59% strikes), while his curveball was worse at just a 33% rate. It’s the little things that make all the difference. His stuff is still fantastic, though, and you have to expect it to come together against Cleveland next time out.

Chris Ellis @ OAK (ND) – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 62 pitches.

There’s nothing that makes me shrug quite like two strikeouts and seven baserunners in 4.1 frames. Sure, he got out of those jams without a technical scratch, but you know. You know the pain.

Madison Bumgarner @ WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 83 pitches.

He sat 90/91 mph on his heater and cutters were shoved into the zone for the most part, earning 8 whiffs. That’s really it, I wish I had more to tell you, but I think this was more of the Nationals lineup being a bit questionable than Bumgarner coming into form. I wouldn’t trust him against the Mets next.

Max Scherzer vs SF (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 102 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. THANK YOU. At least someone knows how to be a legit starter in these Giants/Mets games. Please don’t sit 93.3 mph on your fastball again, okay?

Adam Wainwright @ MIA (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 92 pitches.

Sure, that works Waino. It’s good to see the cutter working again, while the hook did hook things. See, everything is fine.

Yusei Kikuchi @ BOS (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 91 pitches.

I sure didn’t expect Yusei to survive against the Sawx, but here we are. His heater wasn’t the 96 mph we’re hoping for, while his slider went 2/18 CSW. But they got outs and that’s the greatest thing you can get, isn’t it? What about love? Sure, I LOVE these outs those pitches get. This isn’t the start that begins a stretch for Kikuchi, it’s most likely a Birthday Party.

Cole Irvin vs BAL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 95 pitches.

Ayyyy this worked! Mostly! The new velocity is gone and the secondary stuff was far from exciting, but this helped more than it hurt if you rolled him out there. That’s cool.

Nathan Eovaldi vs TOR (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 95 pitches.

This is a Dusty Donut from Eovaldi as you didn’t get a full five frames and that WHIP stings, but hey, those strikeouts and low ERA help. So good job Nathan, you didn’t implode against the mighty Jays. That means something.

Tyler Gilbert @ WSH (L) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 73 pitches.

I’d be thrilled with this if I felt cool tossing Gilbert out there on a whim. That’s incredibly impressive to pitch in the sixth on just 73 pitches and I’m happy for the fella. It was just for the double-header, but even if he was regularly starting, I wouldn’t want to rely on this BABIP.

JT Brubaker @ MIL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

Hot dang! Look at you. Yes, I’m going to get excited at five innings when it comes with a 0.80 WHIP and six strikeouts from Coffee Cakes. I don’t think he did enough to make me feel good about starting him next time out (even if it’s the Cubs) but at least this is progress. Progress is always good, even if it’s just small steps.

Gerrit Cole @ DET (ND) – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 68 pitches.

Boy has this gone poorly. It was a loooong top of the second inning and it clearly affected Cole, who walked four in the inning. FOUR. You shouldn’t have any doubt that Cole will get back on track, but jeeeez he can’t be the #1 SP now, can he? I mean, Burnes just earned the Golden Goal across seven frames. It’s hard to disagree with that.

Chris Archer @ KC (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 76 pitches.

It’s almost like Archer’s 93.3 mph velocity isn’t good enough. Almost. 

Robbie Ray vs TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 85 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. His velocity is coming back up, here 92.7 mph instead of 91.9, but it’s still not the 94/95 from last year. We just have to wait and hope for the best at this point — I mean, he did just take down a great offense here so my monitoring of his velocity all season could be the best impression of “Man yells at cloud” I’ve ever done.

Kyle Freeland vs PHI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 87 pitches.

The Rockies looked at his 3.60 ERA and nothing else, nodded their heads, and said “Yup, $64.5 Million.” Hey, it’s a free land, they can do what they want.

Joe Musgrove vs CIN (W) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. His slider was thrown 38% of the time with a 47% CSW as he limited heaters to just 26% usage. Swoon.

Corbin Burnes vs PIT (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 107 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. That’s a Golden Goal for Burnes as he did exactly what you’d expect against the Pirates. Does that make him SP #1? Across 107 pitches? Yes. Yes it does.

Kyle Gibson @ COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 90 pitches.

PQS in Coors from Gibson? I mean…there’s nothing of value here unless you’re in a QS league. Seriously, three strikeouts and a 1.33 WHIP ain’t it. The good news here is he gets Rockie Road next and that should be better.

Walker Buehler vs ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.

The velocity hasn’t returned yet and while the cutter was legit — 7/25 whiffs, nothing else was. He’s still figuring himself out and you’re upset. I get it. I was hoping Buehler would recover to his 2021 self, but he’s not adapting as we anticipated. It doesn’t mean he’s down for the count — oh absolutely not — but it may take a moment before Walker becomes Runner, you know? I think it’s best to hold instead of trade and wait for the turnaround to come. You’d be trading him at his nadir at this point.

Carlos Hernández vs MIN (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 63 pitches.

Despite boasting a 96 mph heater and two (normally) whiffable breakers, Carlos went 13 outs without a single strikeout. HAISTBMBWT?! Do you need another reason to avoid this Frozen Banana?

Alex Cobb @ NYM (ND) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 60 pitches.

This was going well until the fifth inning, when he was pulled from the game with an adductor strain and has already been placed on the IL. NOOOOOOO. Health was a major concern for Cobb entering the year (sub 100 frames last year) but still, we were just getting started!

Logan Webb @ NYM (L) – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 75 pitches.

Wow, who would have guessed 8 IP total for Webb + Cobb. That’s what happens when you have BB in your name. HA. Ha. ha. ha. His changeup returned just 8% CSW despite 35% usage, his fastball was down 1.5 ticks, and his slider went 3/23 whiffs. It was just that kind of day. I’m not overthinking this one.

Tylor Megill vs SF (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

HIS NAME IS TYLORD MEGILL. Nick, his velocity was down to its 2021 levels at 94.8 mph and this wasn’t good. I SAID WHAT I SAID. But seriously, this was obviously disappointing, yet he did recover to go a full six frames despite the shaky opening innings. He also did increase his velocity a bit by the end so hey, there’s hope. I’m not giving up yet.

Jon Gray @ SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 77 pitches.

This was a Still ILL in my book as I did not anticipate Gray completing five frames. I’m glad he was able to rebound after Suarez and Kelenic’s blasts, I’m also glad I didn’t endure that 7.20 ERA. The new slider looked great here and I’m willing to cough up his 93.8 mph heater (not 95) as him ramping back up. He gets the Athletics next and that should be a lovely day at the park.

Jesús Luzardo vs STL (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 88 pitches.

Jeeez, this was a humbling day for our late-round arms, wasn’t it? Luzardo kept the same curveball-heavy approach while peppering 97 mph heaters, but the Cardinals were able to jump on it. This is going to happen sometimes — do I think it’s Luzardo being terrible again? Nah, I’m 100% holding him and would consider starting him against Atlanta. It just means he’s likely a Cherry Bomb more than on the path to de facto Top 30/40 SP.

Justin Steele vs TB (L) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 48 pitches.

I guess a Vargas Rule for a few months simply isn’t the JS script.

Reiver Sanmartin @ SD (L) – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 86 pitches.

I see it now. In ten years, Reiver and long-time friend Russell Martin decide it’s time to start a comedy duo. We have so many insider stories about baseball, it’ll be a riot! Something fresh! Something new! But then one day, Russell’s heart just wasn’t in it anymore. He couldn’t go on; he felt discussing baseball on stage was akin to bashing a former lover. Committed to his new lifestyle and with tour dates booked, Reiver had to press on alone. He elected to continue the tour solo, blossoming into Comic Sansmartin. WHY DID YOU MAKE ME READ THIS. To showcase how it was still better time spent than starting Reiver. POINT MADE.

Framber Valdez vs LAA (L) – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 80 pitches.

Yiiiikes. That’s two straight rough outings from Valdez and you’re beginning to wonder if it’s worth it. Yeah, I think it is. He pitched a bit better than the line suggests and things didn’t go his way. I’m not saying he deserved excellence, but not this ghastly of a mark. It’ll be a tough call against the Rangers next time out and I think you still let him fly (he’ll be in the questionable start tier). If it goes poorly again, I understand letting him go, though I think he’ll more often perform well than attract disaster across the final five months.

 

Game of the Day 

Carlos Rodón vs. Chris Bassitt – I feel weird always picking Giants vs. Mets, but these are such good pitching matchups. You should watch them.

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

Have Questions? – Join my morning Twitch livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 9:00 am – 11:00 am ET Monday through Friday.

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

3 responses to “This Is The Gray”

  1. Aj says:

    Watching the Luzardo start, it seemed like he got babiped early and lost concentration. He was cruising until he fooled Pujols badly but Albert got the bat on the ball and blooped it for a seeing eye double. Then jazz made a two base throwing error to score a run and put another guy on second. Then a true double, followed by a well placed ground ball single. And then it unraveled from there.

  2. Brian says:

    Robbie Ray got the W not a ND yesterday.

  3. JC says:

    It was cold yesterday in NYC. Wouldn’t really pay too much attention to Webb and Megill’s performance.

    And of course, temperature is nothing for Mad Max

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