Throwing Heat Week 17

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The season has begun and we are back with Throwing Heat! For those who didn’t read these articles last season, this weekly article focuses on pitchers who are pitching well. When we are further into the season it will be based on a pitcher’s previous three starts but for now, it will just be their most recent starts.

This article’s beauty is that it highlights all types of pitchers from the best in the league to pitchers who are barely rostered. If someone is on a hot streak they will be in this article. I will also tell you if the hot streak is legit or if it appears to be a facade. I hope you enjoy it!

*Stats as of 9/6*

Zac Gallen, ARI

Last three starts: 0.00 ERA, 29.0 K%, 0.60 WHIP

How could I possibly type up this article without mentioning Zac Gallen? For those who live under a rock, Gallen has not allowed an earned run in his last six starts. He currently holds the 8th longest single-season scoreless streak in the live-ball era (credit to Sarah Langs on Twitter). He is roughly 18 innings away from the record set by Orel Hershiser who was able to get his scoreless streak to 59.0 innings pitched.

Overall Gallen has been fantastic this season pitching in 26 starts to the tune of a 2.42 ERA, 25.6 K%, and a 0.92 WHIP. When Gallen is healthy, he is one of the best pitchers in the league.

Anibal Sanchez, WSN

Last three starts: 0.55 ERA, 14.8 K%, 0.86 WHIP

Anibal Sanchez has actually put together four solid starts pitching 21.1 innings with a 0.84 ERA and 0.80 WHIP. A very impressive stretch, but is anyone actually buying into this?

It’s a hard no for me since it comes with a 100.0% LOB% and a .113 BABIP, both extreme outliers for Sanchez or anyone for that matter.

Overall the 38-year-old veteran has made ten starts for the Washington Nationals and has been able to produce a 4.56 ERA, 5.6 K-BB%, and 1.27 WHIP. I wouldn’t even consider him a streamable pitcher because massive regression is coming and you don’t want to be a part of it.

Logan Webb, SFG

Last three starts: 1.10 ERA, 27.9 K%, 1.16 WHIP

While Logan Webb certainly has his starts where he looks completely lost, since the start of June he has made 18 starts with a 2.54 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Fantastic ratios and the groundball rate continues to stay high (57.1%), but finicky owners might be complaining about the strikeouts.

For the entire season, Webb has a 20.4 K%, a steep decline from his 26.5% strikeout rate last season. His whiff rate has gone down as well and this is all a bit surprising because he has leaned more heavily on his breaking balls. He has used both his changeup and slider over 30% of the time as opposed to last season where he used both under the 30% mark.

I think he might be getting a bit unlucky in the strikeout rate department and I would bet he rebounds closer to 25% next season.

Kyle Bradish, BAL

Last three starts: 1.31 ERA, 21.3 K%, 0.87 WHIP

This has been a nice three-start stretch for Kyle Bradish especially since it came against the Guardian, Astros, and Red Sox. None of those are easy opponents to face. So what is he doing differently?

Bradish has started to tone down his fastball usage relying more on his slider by a significant amount. This makes so much sense, in fact too much sense since his fastball as been brutal. So far this season opponents have put up a 185 wRC+ and .206 ISO against it. As for his slider? It is by far his best pitch for creating whiffs and has been solid in terms of getting chases outside of the zone.

I hope Bradish continues this trend and we could see a lot better ratios moving forward with a bit of an uptick in strikeout rate.

Domingo German, NYY

Last three starts: 1.31 ERA, 11.7 K%, 0.73 WHIP

To be transparent I have never been a big Domingo German fan because he seems like a one-pitch pitcher. His curveball is a great pitch, no doubt about it but his four-seam gets hammered, his changeup doesn’t produce nearly enough ground balls, and his sinker is his most hard-hit pitch.

He isn’t a terrible pitcher but he is a high three ERA pitcher with a low strikeout rate making him nothing more than a streamer. Plus this three-start run (above) comes with a 4.08 FIP, 4.53 xFIP, and a 9.1% K-BB%. Not good.

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