Phillies: 8 Free-agent starters who won’t stall out in September like Aaron Nola

Sep 29, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) walks to the dugout before their game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) walks to the dugout before their game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /
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Eduardo Rodriguez
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (57) Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

5. Eduardo Rodriguez (3.8 WAR)

Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is very familiar with the free agent, as Eduardo Rodriguez made his MLB with the Red Sox just a few months before they hired Dombrowski during the 2015 season.

After missing the entire 2020 season due to COVID and resulting viral myocarditis, ERod posted a career-worst 4.74 ERA over 32 games.

However, the final month of the regular season has been the best of his career overall: a 3.39 ERA over 178 innings in 36 games. It was also his best month of the 2021 season; he posted a 3.19 ERA over seven games, including six starts.

6. Robbie Ray (3.5 WAR)

The probable American League Cy Young for this season had the best year of his career by far.

Robbie Ray led the AL in ERA (2.84), starts (32), innings pitched (193 1/3), WHIP (1.045), and also edged out Philly’s own Zack Wheeler to lead MLB with 248 strikeouts.

However, over 42 games in Sept/Oct throughout his career, he has a 4.33 ERA over 203 2/3 innings. It’s the only month of the season in which he’s compiled over 200 innings. It was also the second-worst month of his 2021 campaign: 3.44 ERA over six starts.

7. Zack Greinke (3.5 WAR)

At 38 years old, Zack Greinke is entering the autumn of his impressive career, which includes a Cy Young award, six All-Star appearances, six Gold Glove awards, two Silver Sluggers, and two ERA titles over his 18 years in the bigs.

Over 93 Sept/Oct games in his career (89 starts), Greinke has a 3.31 ERA over 557 innings.

Interestingly, the only month of his career in which he’s done better than Sept/Oct is March/April.

8. Marcus Stroman (3.4 WAR)

Marcus Stroman was one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2021. Over an MLB-leading 33 starts, he posted a 3.02 ERA, 3.49 FIP, and 1.145 WHIP.

Over his career, he has a 3.11 ERA in the final month of the season. That’s compiled over 33 games and 188 1/3 innings, 10 more than any other month in the regular season.

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