Instant Recap: Kapler's early hook of Nola induces chaos for Phillies

Aaron Nola was lifted early in Thursday's Phillies 8-5 loss in Atlanta
Aaron Nola handed the ball over to Gabe Kapler and looked over his shoulder at the scoreboard at Sun Trust Park as he headed to the dugout. He had thrown just 68 pitches.

"Surprised," Nola said afterward. "I was surprised to be coming out."

Nola was cruising and looked comfortable, despite surrendering a leadoff double to Ender Inciarte to open the sixth inning. Kapler was quick with his hook though and the move precipitated an avalanche of miscues that eventually allowed the Braves to score eight unanswered runs en route to an Opening Day 8-5 victory over the Phillies.

Kapler asked the bullpen to protect a five-run lead and record the final 11 outs. Four relievers later the game was tied before Hector Neris surrendered a walk-off three-run home run to Nick Markakis.

Hoby Milner relieved Nola in the sixth and surrendered a two-run blast to Freddy Freeman. Ozzie Albies homered off Adam Morgan to open the eighth. Edubray Ramos relieved Morgan and the game was quickly tied. Freeman scored on a passed ball with Preston Tucker batting and then Tucker singled in the tying run. Markakis finished things in the ninth.

Nola looked great, surrendering just three hits on the afternoon. He collected three strikeouts, thanks in part to a curveball that looked as if it was in mid-season form. Aside from Inciarte's double he never was in trouble, making Kapler's decision to lift him early that much more of a head scratcher.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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