Charge the Mound: Week 21
I’ve heard rumblings about other sport’s seasons starting, but I know of no sport other than baseball. As others cast their pearls before swine, I’ll maintain my focus on starting pitchers in the game of baseball.
- Clayton Kershaw
Kershaw hasn’t allowed an earned run in 19.1 innings. He leads the league with 23 quality starts this season. He’s the best in the business.
- Yu Darvish
Darvish has struck out 38.1% of the batters he’s faced in the last 5 games. Three of his last 5 starts have been double digit strikeout games, which takes him up to 9 starts with 10+ strikeouts on the season.
- Felix Hernandez
I was able to watch Felix’s start against the Angels on Friday night. He was pretty sharp only giving up 3 hits over 6 innings. The damage came on 1 home run ball to Chris Nelson. He struck out 10 and walked only one in the loss.
- Adam Wainwright
Waino shut down the Braves on Friday night with a complete game 1 run shovefest with 9 Ks. He has 5 complete games which leads all of baseball (Chris Sale has 4). He’s heating up as the Cardinals really need him.
- David Price
Price was knocked around a bit in his most recent start against the Orioles. They touched him up for 10 hits over 5 innings, but only managed 2 earned runs, giving Price his 7th win of the season. Next up for Price are the Yankees.
- Matt Harvey
Harvey and Max Scherzer lock horns tonight. It’s the only time that All Star Game starters have faced each other in a regular season game (hat tip to Wendy Thurm @hangingsliders). Even with the Mets being horrible, he’s a treat to watch.
- Max Scherzer
Six straight quality starts for Scherzer, who is also part of the All Star Game starter matchup Saturday against the Mets. Even though his strikeout totals have dwindled, he’s still pitching super well.
- Stephen Strasburg
Strasburg pitched a great 8 innings, it was the 9th that bit him in the ass. He had given up just one run through 8.2 innings, but then gave up 3 more in the 9th tie up the game and send it to extras. I suppose it was because Strasburg was at 93 pitches after 8 innings that Davey Johnson ran him back out there for the ninth. At that point though, use your bullpen. Don’t let a guy lose the lead for your team.
- Chris Sale
Sale got bombed in his last outing against the Rangers. Eight earned runs over 7 innings, including 4 home runs. He plays for a bad team, but his strikeout totals have stayed consistent over the season. I’m not a huge fan of Sale’s but he’s been really solid (horrid start not withstanding).
- Madison Bumgarner
Bumgarner has been scuttling a little bit lately, and his next start at Coors isn’t going to help him. He’s still a top 10 pitcher, but he’s just holding on at this point.
- Justin Verlander
Despite having a bad year (compared to his own high bar), Verlander has still made 17 quality starts. His last start against the Twins was definitely not one of those. He gave up 6 earned runs on 10 hits over 7 innings. I’m still keeping the faith in Verlander.
- Hiroki Kuroda
I’m still very much in like with Kuroda. He got pounded in his last outing against the Rays, giving up 9 hits and 7 earned runs in 6 innings. He faces the Blue Jays in his next outing. I expect him bounce back. This season against the Blue Jays Kuroda has a 1.69 ERA in 3 starts.
- Cole Hamels
Six straight quality starts for Hamels too. Sadly for Hamels, it’s only resulted in a 1-1 record. Over those 6 starts he has a 2.00 ERA and a 20% strikeout rate. His next outing will be against the Mets next Wednesday.
- Mike Minor
Minor really struggled in his last outing against the Nationals. He only went 1.2 innings. He walked 4, and gave up 4 hits resulting in 4 earned runs. He’ll take the hill on Sunday against the Cardinals.
- Anibal Sanchez
Sanchez hasn’t given up more than 2 earned runs in 7 starts. He struck out 8 and gave up just 1 earned run against the Twins. He’ll start against Oakland at home on Monday.
- Mat Latos
Latos has quietly delivered as one of the best starters in the National League. His last start, against Arizona, Latos went 8 innings striking out 6 and not allowing a walk. He’s got a string of 6 consecutive quality starts going. Next up for Latos are the Cardinals on Tuesday.
- Jose Fernandez
Fernandez continues to deal. His last start against the Dodgers, he gave up 1 earned run over 6 innings. His innings cap is looming. He’s at 145.2 right now and the cap is going to be around 170 innings. Enjoy him while you can.
- Patrick Corbin
I resist. I resist. I can’t resist. He continues to pitch well. Corbin dropped a complete game against the Reds in his last outing limiting Cincy to 2 earned runs. He added 10 strikeouts in the game. He currently owns a 2.45 ERA and 1.02 WHIP to go along with his 13-3 record.
- James Shields
Shields is 3rd in the majors with 21 quality starts on the season. His strikeouts have been down this season, 19.1% compared to 20.7% for his career coming into 2013, but he’s still been very effective.
- Jhoulys Chacin
Of his last 10 starts, 8 have been quality starts. His season ERA sits at 3.22 and his WHIP is 1.22. While that WHIP isn’t elite, it’s miles better than his 1.359 career WHIP heading into the 2013 season. He’s not striking out as many guys has in previous years, but he’s limiting his walks and home runs to be very effective.