Nola struggles, Castellanos powers Phillies to 5-4 win in St. Louis
The Philadelphia Phillies embarked on a six game road trip last night, with game one being played in St. Louis against the Cardinals.
Aaron Nola was on the mound last night and for the third consecutive start, failed to make it out of the fifth inning. Nola has now pitched 4.2 innings or less in three consecutive starts, which obviously, is a worrisome sign for the Phillies No. 2 pitcher as we inch closer and closer to the postseason.
Luckily, the Phillies never trailed last night against the Cardinals, despite Nola only throwing 4.2 innings while allowing seven hits, three runs (two earned) and a walk. He managed to strikeout just one batter.
Bryce Harper got the Phillies on the board after grounding into a force out that allowed Trea Turner to score to give The Fightins a 1-0 lead.
Nick Castellanos then stepped up to the plate with Harper and Realmuto on base and crushed a 3-run home run to put the Phillies up 4-0.
Nick Castellanos 3-Run Home Run
After a stretch of miserable baseball, Castellanos is finally returning to form over his last 7 games, batting .296 with two home runs and 8 RBI.
On the season, Castellanos has now blasted 24 home runs, which is 11 more than last year. He has 93 RBI, just eight away from tying his career-high 101 RBI with 15 games left to play.
Nola exited the game with the score tied 3-3 and the bullpen answered the call. Matt Strahm, Jeff Hoffman, Seranthony Dominguez, Craig Kimbrel, and Jose Alvarado tossed a combined 4.3 innings, allowing two hits and one earned run (Alvarado), while striking out six.
That of course, didn’t come without drama in the eighth and ninth innings. Craig Kimbrel walked three in the bottom of the eighth but managed to work his way out of his own mess unscathed.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Jose Alvarado then loaded the bases, putting the the winning run in scoring position with 2 outs. He then got Lars Nootbaar to strike out looking, securing a much needed 5-4 win for the Phillies.
Jose Alvarado K’s Lars Nootbaar
Phillies Hunt for Red October
Phillies earned win No. 80 in the season last night and hold a 2.5 game lead over the Chicago Cubs for the top spot in the NL Wild Card race.
The Phillies will now send Ranger Suarez (2-6, 3.93 ERA) to the mound tonight at 7:15PM against Miles Mikolas (7-11, 4.75 ERA).
15 Games Remaining: at STL (2), at ATL (3), vs. NYM (4), vs. PIT (3), at NYM (3)