Woe Logan

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Logan Webb @ SD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 78 pitches.

This roundup lead isn’t to tell you to stop starting Logan Webb in any fashion after tonight’s 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 78 pitches performance against the Padres. I wouldn’t be so foolish after he’s gone 11 straight starts with at least six frames. This looks like another blip that we shrug and express good fortune for surviving despite it.

What I do want to do is at least note it’s the second start in three where Webb didn’t have his sinker command and it led to a four-ER start. We’ve seen a massive sample of Webb in rhythm with that sinker — nailing corners and avoid punishment — and as we begin to put a close on the season, there’s a sense the seams are starting to bulge, loosening a touch at the edge and taking a deep sigh knowing their internals won’t be exposed before October arrives. What on Earth are you talking about? I’m poorly outlining the fragile nature of Webb’s 2021 season, rooted in fastball command I’m not sure he can possess for another full season, and I’d step away from reaching for him in 2022. Can he have a sub-4.00 ERA next year? Absolutely! But is he a steady #3 SP again? I’d be awfully surprised. I’m terrible at predicting next season ADPs, but I have to think he’s one arm I’m avoiding on my rosters.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

 

Zac Lowther vs TEX (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

Hey, the man celebrated a Birthday Party and didn’t allow us to save the date. To be fair, I’m sure he’s surprised he earned 8/19 CSW on his curveball and 8/48 whiffs on his four-seamer. Some days, that’s just how it goes.

Chris Bassitt vs SEA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 48 pitches.

It was dang cool to see Bassitt back on the hill today. After his nightmare-inducing comebacker, few of us expected to see him again this season, and even a short start like this has to make you smile. He would get the Mariners a second time next week and sure, why not. I don’t think he’ll hurt you if you stick him in your lineup, even if it may not be five full frames.

Patrick Corbin @ CIN (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 99 pitches.

Oh, NOW you decide to have a fantastic start. Against the Reds. In Cincy. His slider did earn 14/46 whiffs, but that’s felt like the standard affair for a while now and the results weren’t coming then. And now he heads to Coors, which is sure to make this one look awfully like a Dennis.

Michael Kopech @ CLE (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 27 pitches.

We were stoked to see Kopech “start”, but he wasn’t destined to get the frames we all want him to toss — the man hasn’t been stretched out in the slightest. You have to be thrilled he made the most of it with four strikeouts in six batters, though. He is a stud, after all.

Adrian Houser vs STL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 81 pitches.

Well look at you Houser. He had two starts with his classic sinker and gave me pause last week as it was gone while facing the Cubs. Well, it was back and in full force against the Cards with 33% CSW + tons of outs in the field. He’ll get St. Louis a second time and while he could certainly flounder, don’t rule out repeat success.

Alex Cobb vs HOU (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Wow. He actually did it. What’s wild here is it came without the massive splitter or even a ton of curveballs stealing strikes. Nay, it was the sinker’s day and it feels so weird to see that from Cobb. Maybe the extra tick of velocity in this one was all he needed. He’ll get the Rangers in Texas next time and that could be a sneaky stream.

Steven Matz @ MIN (ND) – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

Well dangit. Matz is a Toby who was in a questionable situation against the Twins and wasn’t able to come out on top. The curveball was good the sinker not so much, and now with a start against the Yankees remaining, he belongs on the wire instead of your fantasy teams. I don’t think you want that final start.

Michael Pineda vs TOR (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 78 pitches.

Ehhhh, that’s a Dusty Donut alright. Did you need the win or a decent 3.60 ERA? Great, I hope you can endure the 1.80 WHIP and just two strikeouts. I’m pretty amazed Pineda could come through with just 11% CSW on sliders, holding on tightly to a two-ER line like a dinky umbrella in a thunderstorm. I…must…not…get…soaked… We should all be thrilled to see the Tigers next on the docket and I think you’re okay starting him there. Still a bit of risk involved, but it’s a touch more favorable.

Zach Plesac vs CWS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

Ehhhh, Plesac isn’t the man of old yet, even if he managed 5/17 whiffs on his slider. He’ll get the Royals next, though, and hopefully we see a trifecta of effective secondaries (slider, curveball, change) that give an ounce of hope for 2022.

Glenn Otto @ BAL (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 81 pitches.

Atta boy Otto! Streaming Record: 91-72. I just have to 90% the rest of the way now to hit #100, EASY PEASY. As for Otto, his slider was as great as we’ve seen + he managed to sneak in 10/42 called strikes on his sinker. That’ll do it. He may have one final start to consider as he’d get the Angels next week. Don’t overlook it.

Luis Castillo vs WSH (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 105 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn a Gallows Pole. What a lovely recovery it’s been for Castillo after his ghastly opening months. Let’s not forget it.

Reynaldo López @ CLE (ND) – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 65 pitches.

López pitched well save for a pair of fastballs that left the yard in a hurry. He’s not providing a whole lot for fantasy purposes and you’re better off chasing guys with a higher ceiling in the short term. If he were to start next week, it could be against the Reds and I wouldn’t go for that at all.

Madison Bumgarner vs ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 90 pitches.

Despite his strong effort last time out, I was skeptical Bumgarner could pull it off again. I wouldn’t say he did it here — that’s a 5.40 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP — as the fastball sat 90 mph, and with the Giants closing out his season, he’s not a starter I’d like to consider. Pretty cool to see 43% CSW on curveballs, though. If only he had the 91/92 mph velocity.

Lance McCullers Jr. @ LAA (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 101 pitches.

McCullers didn’t have his best command here, losing some at-bats and getting a touch of bad luck as well. We’ve seen him better and don’t overthink the start against the Rays next week. He’s fine.

Charlie Morton @ ARI (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 96 pitches.

I wouldn’t say I want PQS from Morton, but a solid WHIP and eight strikeouts solidify Morton’s consistent ability to help more than hurt. The quiet ace, they call him.

Yusei Kikuchi @ OAK (ND) – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 72 pitches.

Yikes. The four-seamer was a bit higher at nearly 95 mph, but the cutter and slider failed to earn a single whiff across 30 between them and that’s tragic. There’s a chance he can get it together in a repeat matchup next time out, but that doesn’t feel like a likely conclusion to Kikuchi’s season. Sigh. I miss the first half.

Kyle Freeland vs LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 97 pitches.

The curveball was good, but not the elite self we’ve fallen for, leading to a VPQS…against the Dodgers. You can’t forget that important variable. Now with WSH up next to end his season (or maybe @ARI on the final day if they go four-man?), there’s a shot Freeland takes this start and makes it better. It’s not my favorite play, but the fact he can go six productive innings sets him apart from many options you’ll see.

Yu Darvish vs SF (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

The man is a premium Cherry Bomb, like the leaf falling at the whim of the wind, Darvish is strung by the undulating command of his pitches. Tonight had its moments and struggles, making a date next week against the Dodgers awfully concerning. It’s up to you if you want to chase the seven strikeouts or dodge the poor ratios.

Connor Overton @ PHI (ND) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 64 pitches.

It’s generally a good thing to be able to get a co-signing, but I’d be shocked if anyone wanted this C.O.-signing. You really sat there, thought about this, and settled on that?! I completely understand this outrage. I deserve this, just like Overton and this line. Touché.

Adam Wainwright @ MIL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 78 pitches.

Jeeeeez. A first-inning grand slam made for a tough pit to climb out of as Waino simply didn’t have his best. Seriously, just one strikeout?! HAISTBMBWT?! He’s set to get his revenge against the Brew Crew next week and you better bet your bottom dollar he does.

Max Scherzer @ COL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches.

Awwwww, I was hoping to get a glimpse at the rare 1.xx ERA season, and this start means we’re highly unlikely to see that from a qualified starting pitcher this season. Womp womp.

Aaron Nola vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 84 pitches.

It just feels like a sick joke at this point. Nola faced the Pirates and earned a King Cole — nothing too out of the ordinary — but managed to also have an atrocious second inning and allow six runs under his watch. It means Nola walked away today with a horrendous 4.64 ERA on the season across nearly 175 frames and I can’t help but wonder how he’ll be treated over the off-season. The 3.38 FIP has to mean something, right? What about the 219 strikeouts for the season or the 1.11 WHIP? The man is so much better than that ERA and I’d roll the dice on another season. No way we get snake eyes again.

Aaron Civale vs CWS (L) – 1.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 45 pitches.

Oh no. Civale tried to kitchen-sink approach and few things served him well against a strong ChiSox lineup. Let’s be honest, though. We were ignoring Civale for this start and circling his next one against the Royals as the moment we’d consider him for our squads. However, after this disaster, are we still okay with letting him fly in Kansas City? I’m slightly leaning yes, still, but I completely understand if you’d rather not. I mean, seven earned runs in five outs, it’s not hard to understand.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Shane Bieber & Jack Flaherty – Okay, so not one game, but both of these studs are returning from the IL tomorrow and you best be welcoming them back.

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

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Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Aaron Polcare (@bearydoesgfx 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 pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar Josh says:

    It was a tough day to start Scherzer, Morton, and Darvish. Could tell pretty early on that Scherzer wasn’t gonna provide much, but Morton and Darvish both looked pretty good through 5 and 6 complete innings respectively… then each let 2 runners on in the 6th/7th and each pitcher who relieved them IMMEDIATELY gave up a 3-run bomb. Brutal break

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