Masterful performance from Aaron Nola and a Harper HR carry Phillies to 2-0 win
Aaron Nola threw a masterpiece today against the St. Louis Cardinals. After the game, he laughed and stated he was ready to fight Joe Girardi if the Phillies’ skipper didn’t allow his ace to pitch the ninth inning. Thankfully for Joe, there was no need to throw hands.
Nola struck out 10 and threw a two-hitting for his first ever nine-inning shutout in the majors, leading the Phillies to a 2-0 win against the Cardinals.
Bryce Harper, who had the day off yesterday due to lower back stiffness, had three hits and a crucial home run to give the Phillies the lead and Nola took care of the rest. In 142 career starts, he had never pitched into the ninth inning. Today, Nola threw a total of 109 pitches and allowed only two singles. He retired 13 straight batters going into the eighth inning and did not walk a single batter.
Nola needed this type of outing and the Phillies desperately needed a pitching performance to stop the inconsistent play over the last week. Nola lowered his ERA to 2.19 from 3.45 and earned a much needed win on the day, highlighted by the fifth inning where he struck out the side.
Aaron Nola is now 1-1 on the season. He would have retired 18 straight hitters if he didn’t commit an error of his own receiving a ball from Hoskins at first base. The streak ended in the eighth inning when Paul DeJong singled, just out of reach of Andrew McCutchen. Although some of his outings weren’t pretty, on paper, things are looking pretty good for the Phillies ace.
- 2.19 ERA
- 0.97 WHIP
- .219 BAA
- 28/3 K/BB ratio
After the game, Nola received his first ever gatorade shower.
Bryce Harper was back in the lineup today after missing yesterday’s game with lower back stiffness. He entered the game batting .238 but still ranked a solid 11th overall with a .994 OPS. Harper gave Nola all of the run support he needed when he crushed an upper deck home run 425 feet to left field. It was Harper’s third home run of the year. The other Phillies run came off an Alec Bohm sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead and Nola took care of the rest.
The Phillies move to 8-7 on the season and will face the San Francisco Giants at home tomorrow. Chase Anderson will be on the mound for the Phillies, facing Kevin Gausman. It will be the first time Gabe Kapler returns to Citizens Bank Park with fans in attendance.
Today was also the Phillie Phanatics’ birthday. They gave the best mascot in baseball a birthday cake, a card signed by fans, and a nice little celebration in video form from Gritty, Bryce Harper, and other stars from the Philly area. Just a lovely Sunday at the ballpark, which is how it should be.
Enjoy the last hours of the weekend. Cheers.
Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports