We Want Thor

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Noah Syndergaard vs MIA (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 50% CSW, 10 pitches.

For a roundup where all but a few starters are done for the year, I wanted to take a moment to discuss Noah Syndergaard as he opened 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 50% CSW, 10 pitches and neglect the four one-ER frames that followed from Trevor Williams (hey, good job bud! No win for you, though). We haven’t seen Thor since 2019, and even ten pitches is something to talk about. He sat 96 mph (yay) across six heaters, and had a pretty changeup. All that is to say he looked normal, and it’s time to consider what it means for 2022.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he returned to the Mets on a one year deal to bet on himself, allowing him to throw more than the typical ~140/150 frames we see from a guy in his first season back from TJS, with something like 170 as he may get a start or two skipped and a small ramp up period in April just to play it safe. As for the ability, I wouldn’t anticipate 2015/2016 all over again, but considering 96 mph here, why not a Top 40 starter once again? I wonder what the ADP will be once March settles and we see him tossing comfortably in February/March and while I feel the concerns of Stephen Strasburg, Corey Kluberand Jameson Taillon wash over me, I can’t help but wonder if he’ll be underrated given the lack of recent volume. We’ll see.


Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:


Logan Webb vs ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 98 pitches.

What a ridiculous and wonderful run it’s been for Webb, and he may have one more start left in him. Ride it out into the far horizon, Webb, you beautiful man.

Michael Wacha @ HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 61 pitches.

Look at Wacha go, earning a share of the King Cole against the mighty Astros. His heater sat 94/95 mph (sweet) and his changeup earned a 37% CSW. Sometimes he does that and it still doesn’t work, I’m glad for him that he had success once again. I gotta hand it to him, Wacha has had more solid starts than we all anticipated this year and that’s a cool thing.

Charlie Barnes vs DET (ND) – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 68 pitches.

This is as good as it gets from Charlie and that should make it pretty dang easy to forget over the off-season. There’s no way the Twins turn to him for regular starts out of camp.

Walker Buehler vs SD (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Buehler, what a season this has been and I’m thrilled that you’ve hit 196 frames with one more possible start left. Incredible.

Charlie Morton vs PHI (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Morton had a rough April and has been absolutely dominant since and let’s not forget that for 2022. He could get one more start on Sunday against the Mets, though there’s an outside chance they rest him and make Morton the Game #1 NLDS starter for Friday, electing to not pitch him on four-days rest.

Kyle Freeland vs WSH (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 91 pitches.

I can imagine some in deeeeep leagues next year that a gamble on Freeland getting that curveball in order with consistency, but he didn’t have it here as he enters the off-season. I hope he gets it, the world is a better place when a guy like Freeland dominates.

Chris Bassitt @ SEA (ND) – 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 67 pitches.

I pushed to start Bassitt wherever, expecting the quality of inning to be worth it and this…wasn’t? Maybe the just-under-3.00 ERA is, but the near-2.00 WHIP hurts + it’s just one strikeout (“HAISTBMBWT?”and I was really hoping for at least four frames. Now we sit back and wonder how many people are going to chase Bassitt’s 2021 thinking he’s actually a 3.16-ERA, 1.03-WHIP, 25%-strikeout arm, or at least something close to that. Me? Nah. But hey, he’s at the very least a graduated Toby and that’s a helpful starter. Just don’t do anything silly and draft him above Shane McClanahan or whatever.

Luke Weaver @ SF (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

That’s a horrible WHIP, but one ER in four frames is cool! It took him 93 pitches for 12 outs. WHATEVER. He desperately needs that third pitch to steal strikes and I wouldn’t bank on his cutter or curveball being that offering next year.

Tyler Anderson vs OAK (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 46 pitches.

I completely missed that Anderson was going instead of Yusei Kikuchi and he did plenty better than the nine-ER disaster from Saturday — given the short rest, you should be thrilled with four frames in under 50 pitches. Anyway, that’s likely it for Anderson and I’m proud of him for being a solid arm for us streamers for a while. He wasn’t as good as a professor, but sometimes a solid TA is all you need.

Jameson Taillon @ TOR (ND) – 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 38 pitches.

Taillon left this one early as it seemed his ankle injury was still pestering him. Poor guy.

Reynaldo López vs CIN (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 81 pitches.

His slider was legit and the four-seamer tossed enough effective strikes to earn outs and keep the Reds off-balance. If Reynaldo has that slider aplenty next year, he could be a considerable arm…but that would also require significant playing time. I’m curious how this shakes out next year as Michael Kopech really should be in that rotation.

Tyler Alexander @ MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! T-Lex stretched out his arms as far as they could, going six frames for a chance and earning 15 whiffs — 8/20 on his changeup alone. It’s not typical in the slightest and reminds me of that one miraculous stretch against the Reds. What a weird pitcher with the coolest Birthday Party around.

Trevor Rogers @ NYM (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 89 pitches.

Solid work from Rogers, though he still hasn’t gone six frames in ages. The slider was barely touched, but the changeup did legit work supporting the always-great four-seamer. I like Rogers for next year, but I don’t love him — the first half does seem a bit like an over-performance. I’m curious if he’ll be highly coveted as a Top 20-25 arm or fall closer to the mid-30s. I bet I’ll be on the lower end, but who knows right now.

Bruce Zimmermann vs BOS (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 70 pitches.

Let’s be real, this is kinda great for the Orioles as their starter got all BZ across four frames of one-ER ball. That’s it. That’s the blurb.

Zach Thompson @ NYM (L) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 20 pitches.

Welcome to a bullpen game that didn’t include the guy I totally thought was going to pitch (I miss you Braxton Garrett). Welp, whatareyagonnado.

Marcus Stroman vs MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 78 pitches.

It worked, but it’s far from the overwhelming start we know Stroman can have. The cutter earned 11/15 foul balls, which is stupid good and stupid obnoxious at the same time, but his slider went 0/9 CSW and the splitter returned just two whiffs. Obviously let him fly against Atlanta to end the season and let’s hope the whiffs come with the slider and splitter.

Patrick Corbin @ COL (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 101 pitches.

After all we’ve been through, Patrick h*ckin’ Corbin decides that during a start inside Coors, in his final start of the season, he’ll earn nine strikeouts and a King Cole. IT’S ABOUT DANG TIME. I wonder if Corbin can be the Robbie Ray of 2022, though he’ll have to go 18/53 whiffs on his slider consistently to make that happen because daaaaang that’s nuts.

A.J. Alexy vs LAA (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 16% CSW, 91 pitches.

Ayyyy this one worked? It wasn’t impressive in the slightest as his four-seamer was knocked into play and found a ton of gloves, but hey, it worked. Good job Steely Dan’s sixth studio album A.J.A.

Adam Wainwright vs MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 102 pitches.

There’s the Waino we know and love. That’s likely it as they’ll save him for the Wild Card game, ending his season with an astonishing 3.05 ERA and 1.06 WHIP across 206.1 frames. What. A. Stud.

Zack Wheeler @ ATL (L) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s too bad Wheeler had that rough patch in August, otherwise he’d be the clear Cy Young winner. But that ain’t fair, what if you take away the worst stretch from Buehler, Scherzer, or Burnes? FINE. Just let me have my moment. Wheeler may get one more start against Miami on Sunday and that should be an absolute doozy.

Riley O’Brien @ CWS (L) – 1.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 42 pitches.

We didn’t expect much of anything from the Reds staff today and Riley isn’t someone to take note of. Let’s move on.

José Urquidy vs TB (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

It wasn’t the prettiest, but it was effective. I wonder how we’ll treat him in drafts next year — I see a solid arm through the year with glimpses of ace-dom. A sub-4.00 ERA and flirtation with 3.00 with close to a strikeout an inning. That should be a worthy #5 starter, no?

Yu Darvish @ LAD (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 84 pitches.

Darvish has turned into a premier Cherry Bomb and oh MY are we going to debate this heavily in the off-season. As for now, let’s applaud that he kept his head above water in four frames despite averaging 2.25 baserunners per inning. He could get one more start to end the year, but I have to wonder if the Padres just let him rest now.

Brandon Woodruff @ STL (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 63 pitches.

Aces gonna finally get limited. It likely spells a short start for both Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta as well, so plan accordingly.

Hyun Jin Ryu vs NYY (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 93 pitches.

It’s been a rough season for Ryu and a start against the hawt Yankee offense wasn’t destined for redemption. He gets the Orioles on Sunday and I understand some needing to chase it, I would prefer something else if I could.

Brady Singer vs CLE (ND) – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 14% CSW, 14 pitches.

Singer left with arm discomfort in the first. Ugh. Injuries still happen in the last week of the season and it’s the worst part of baseball. When I was a kid, my one wish was that everyone would have a closet where they would put whatever was injured and get a replacement, like a spare tire, until it healed. What a wonderful world that would be.

Chris Sale @ BAL (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 85 pitches.

It’s one more ER than we want + he failed to get a win and I imagine many are wondering how to consider him for 2022. Well, we’ll talk about that next week on Monday as I discuss my Top 150 SP for 2022 waaaay too early, but for now, don’t drop Sale. He could start on Sunday or even Monday for a potential Game 163. Let’s hope he’s better.

Aaron Civale @ KC (ND) – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 90 pitches.

Yikes. I had circled this start as the sole outing we’d want Civale for in September and I’m sad to see it didn’t come together as planned. On the plus side, Civale did turn to his curveball more than any other pitch this time, returning a fantastic 36% CSW on the hook. Sadly, the other options in his arsenal didn’t pan out, and as they say, the rest is BLEGH. There’s still a decent shot at a full rebound in 2022, though I’d rather take a late shot or even waiver wire it instead of outright chasing it to kick off the year. The ceiling is still a little questionable.

Packy Naughton @ TEX (L) – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 15% CSW, 46 pitches.

There are times when I see a pitcher and all I think is “I hope they’re dope so Packy Naughton becomes a household name.” How did ole Packy do today, son? He allowed NAUGHTON! He sure did Son. He sure did. Sigh. Maybe one day.

Alec Mills @ PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 83 pitches.

Welp, I think we Millsed this for all it was worth this season. Streaming Record: 92-75. It’s been a fun season of streams, Alec. Go soar into the sunset.

Mitch Keller vs CHC (ND) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 92 pitches.

Sigh. This was Keller’s best shot and it’s just so far removed from the hint of success from 2019…which had historically bad luck. If you’ve repeatedly started Mitch, he’s turned into a serial Keller.


Game of the Day 


Aaron Nola vs Max FriedNola is better than this + Fried is pitching at his best.

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 EST Monday through Friday.

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesings 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.

2 responses to “We Want Thor”

  1. xdwm9525@gmail.com says:

    You were given a gift of Riley O’Brien and passed. If you can come up with Packon Naughty, then Brien O’Reilly talks to the Teenage Wasteland of bullpen games. They’re all wasted! Who said that? Who indeed.

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