Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First impressions of Phillies rookie pitcher Aaron Nola

The Phillies' top minor league prospect made his major league debut on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.


by PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
July 21 2015, 9:15 PM EST.
@PGordonPBR
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com


PHILADELPHIA -Aaron Nola is making his major league debut tonight at Citizens Bank Park against the Tampa Bay Rays. The running commentary below offers inning-by-inning insight into how he looks from the press box.

First inning

Jaso opened the inning with a double off the wall in right center, but Nola fired back and sat Souza down on three straight strikes. He made Longoria chase a 2-2 off-speed pitch for a second strikeout and got Loney to ground out to second. Nola needed 18 pitches to get through the frame, tossing 12 for strikes. He hovered around 92 mph and mixed his pitches rather well.

Second inning

Fell behind Forsythe 2-0 but worked his way back to 2-2 and induced a routine grounder to third.  Kiermaier swung at the first pitch and popped up to third. Elmore followed and hit an 0-1 pitch to right that dropped for a single, but Nola struck out Rivera on three pitches to end the threat.  Again, he hung around 91 - 92 mph. He threw 11 pitches, 9 for strikes.

Third inning

Karns deposited the first pitch he saw (fastball over the plate) into the seats in left center. The homer was the first of his career. Nola responded by taking Jaso to a full count before inducing a harmless grounder to first. He then had Souza chase an 0-2 curve off the plate to notch his third strikeout of the night. Longoria ended the frame with a grounder to third. Nola needed 14 pitches for the inning and threw 10 for strikes.

He could have been rattled by surrendering the solo shot to Karns, but kept his composure and bounced back nicely.

Fourth inning 

The inning began with rain, but Nola motored through and needed just eight pitches to set down the side.  Freddy Galvis made a spectacular stop at short on a sharply hit ball by Forsythe to highlight the frame.

Fifth inning

Nola surrendered a pair of singles but escaped without surrendering a run. Through five innings he's recorded seven outs via the ground, two via fly balls, and six by strikeout. His velocity has stayed around 91 mph and he's done a great job of changing up his pitch selection.

Sixth inning

Nola surrendered a two out walk, but again worked himself out of danger. He's now at 88 pitches, so it's likely that his night is done. Through six he's allowed one run over five hits. He walked one and struck out six. 

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