(Photo by Juan Salas/Icon Sportswire)
I find it weird that I’m about to talk about Trevor Richards but we’re about to talk about Trevor Richards who went 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks against the Phillies Friday night. Over his last five starts he’s returned a 1.32 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 26.6% K rate. This is obviously raising your eyebrows. What I didn’t mention is the 12.4% walk rate, the 0 HRs allowed, .265 BABIP, and 88% LOB rate that add up to a 4.28 SIERA as he’s faced the Nats twice, Phillies twice, and Rays. However, there has been a fun change that could mean this is somewhat sustainable: his changeup usage. Before this stretch, Richards threw his slow ball 25% of the time, tallying a 3.2 pVal. Solid. These last five starts? 38.4% usage and a 8.2 pVal. It’s a fantastic offering with a fantastic 23% whiff rate and absurd 50.2% O-Swing, inducing just a .156 BAA across 423 thrown. Pretty much money save for the 35% zone rate (I think I need to change the parameters slightly), which is helping him mask the rest of his repertoire. Oh right, it’s bad. His curveball barely finds the plate (33.5% zone rate) with a sub 30% O-Swing and sub 7.0% whiff rate. That’s his third pitch. His fastball? 13.5% O-Swing, .295 BAA, 3% whiff rate. On a four-seamer! It’s good to see Richards focusing on his best pitch more often, but don’t expect massive things here with two horrendous pitches in the supporting cast – one he can’t throw for a strike and the other he’s getting punished for throwing strikes with. It adds up to a guy that I’d play the matchups with but not consider for about half of matchups. Maybe next year.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Ryan Borucki – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Whooooaaaaa WAIT. I haven’t whipped this out for ages and we may have a new Minimalist Score champ in Borucki with this MS of 6 as he went eight full frames. It’s essentially a game of incredible BABIP that I just can’t feel good about moving forward.
Brett Anderson – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. HA! Just one more 1-2-3 frame and you would be the MS champ Anderson. On the real, don’t start Anderson, this won’t happen again.
Blaine Hardy – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Hardy is back with more Tomfoolery, but…well this is interesting. Hardy’s best pitch is a changeup, which has returned 20% whiff rates in the past and is around 17% this season. Despite 22% usage this season, he threw 30% yesterday, tallying 13 whiffs on 33 thrown. The last time he hinting 30% changeups? Six strikeouts. Before that? 5 strikeouts. You feel me? A guy that has a sub 20% strikeout rate threw his best pitch more often and suddenly it’s hinting at a K per inning. I’m not saying it’s gonna stick and that his fastball/slider combination is good enough to make his changeups sing to the heavens like I’m hinting with Richards, just…monitor this, okay?
Ryne Stanek – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s a False Start n all, but how can you take a pitcher out after fanning the first five batters he faces? It just seems so wrong to me.
Vince Velasquez – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Velasquez has allowed five ER across his last six starts. There’s a catch though: He faced the Reds, Padres, Mets, Nationals in that time and this one? Blame it on the Marlins. Nice to six 6 whiffs on 27 breaking balls, but I’m not at the point where I’d trust him against the Braves or Cubs or what have you. Still probably deserves a Top 50 spot, though.
Lucas Giolito – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. You know, that’s three of his last five games tallying 3 ER with a near 7 IPS across them. Okay, 3 walks in each, but it’s a little intriguing, especially when his fastball is now sitting 93/94 after scaring us with 91/92 in April/May.
Rick Porcello – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. The was a complete game. Against the Yankees. On just 86 pitches. Dude. I know. Really nice to see this from him after missteps of 8 and 4 ER in two of his previous three games, here’s to hoping it continues. And obviously you’re starting him as what else are you gonna do.
Jose Quintana – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s four of Quintana’s last five with 2 ER or fewer and it should come to no surprise that his fastball his been stupid good in those outings. Seriously, it’s a 10.2 pVal in four starts. The rest of the season? -5.0. Is that four-seamer going to stick around? Probably not, as those games came against the Tigers, Giants, Cardinals, and here against the Padres. I’m not ready to say Quintana’s back just yet.
Anibal Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Weird to see just 2 whiffs on 26 cutters, but it did work with 13/26 SNIP and he got the Mets sooooo, yeah. Blame it on the Mets. Kinda. He’s been pretty solid, just not this solid. Keep starting him.
Justin Verlander – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Nothing like a cool 44/105 CSW with 21 whiffs for an easy Gallows Pole. His fastball has a 28 pVal for the year. Daaaaaang.
Alex Wood – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Wood hasn’t produced a sterling start in a while, but he is sure getting the job done. A slightly better Toby and I’m giving him bonus points for handling the Astros with ease.
Jacob deGrom – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s amazing how bad he is at getting Wins. PITCH BETTER.
Ariel Jurado – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Ah yes, the man who through three starts has fewer strikeouts than Anibal Sanchez did tonight. That’s a Cup of Schmo for you.
German Marquez – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Our Call Boy continued his hot streak, now killing it in five of his last six, each with double-digit whiff rates. Next up are the Pirates in Coors and I think I’m okay rolling the dice on it in a deep 12-teamer. Streaming Record: 65-37.
Jake Odorizzi – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Rain shortened this and everything is stupid. STUPID I TELL YA.
Heath Fillmyer – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Fillmyer was the other victim of rain, but in reality, we were all a victim of his reign.
Jaime Barria – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Sadly I’ve given up on Barria as the early success he had with his slider and changeup simply isn’t happening anymore. So it goes.
Mike Clevinger – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. A PQS is kinda meh, that sub 1.00 WHIP and six strikeouts are cool, though.
Patrick Corbin – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. A PQS as he’s allowed 11 ER in three of his last four…but also fanned 25 across his last three. That 14.7% overall whiff rate is a thing of beauty.
Junior Guerra – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeah, this is solid. You might see 3 ER and turn away but over 8 frames with a sub 1.00 WHIP and 6 Ks is noice. Great to see his splitter working here – 8/25 whiffs – which has been missing for the majority of the year. Keep rolling with him.
Tyson Ross – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. If Ross hasn’t been dropped yet, it’s because you’re in space where falling is relative.
Chris Archer – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. One of the more disappointing starts from last was from Archer making his debut for the Pirates. He effectively walked the plank as his heater wasn’t the pitch it needs to be. I think he’s still Top 40 and better days are ahead.
Marco Gonzales – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I think the sum of the parts is the story of Marco as he’ll continue to have success as long as all parts in his repertoire are working. I’m super skeptic for 2019 as it doesn’t seem like blueprint for sustained success, but hot dang you best be holding for now.
Luis Severino – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Hmmmm. Where should I be placing Severino on The List on Monday? I still think he’s a top 10 arm going through a rough patch – that’s four straight clunkers – and I have to pull back a little here as this was the Red Sox n all, but just 24/115 CSW? Only 2 whiffs on 35 sliders? 3/18 CSW on changeups? Yikes. It’s bad right now, I’d be shocked if it didn’t pick up in his next start or two.
David Hess – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess truck’s here!
John Gant – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Welp, the changeup wasn’t enough and everything else just isn’t good enough to share the load.
Chris Stratton – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Well, yeah. We’ve been done with Stratton since the end of April and it’s sadder than waking up in a Denny’s parking lot at 4am on a Tuesday.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day
Chance Adams vs. Nathan Eovaldi – It’s a MLB debut + maybe Eovaldi can pull it off against the Pinstripes.