Philly hurler is becoming nearly automatic on the mound; Phillies win 4-2

Philadelphia pitcher Aaron Nola helps Phillies to win
Aaron Nola impressed again on Tuesday night, piecing together another outstanding performance with a career-high 12 strikeouts in a 4-2 win over the Giants in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park.

Spectacular outings are becoming the norm for the 24-year-old. Through eight starts this season he's 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. His 1.7 WAR ranks seventh among all starting pitchers.

Nola's success stems from not just having outstanding stuff, but understanding situations and knowing how to sequence his pitches. He excelled again at both last night.

"He continues to flash that 94-MPH fastball early in the game and I think that just makes the opposition respect the fastball," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said afterward (see video). "They have to be aware of the come-backer fastball that he starts off the plate and sinks back on the plate and then you've got two really plus pitches in the curveball and the changeup to make that fastball even more effective."



Nola has been straight-up dominant. According to Fangraphs, half of all balls hit in play off Nola this season have been hit on the ground and opponents overall hard contact rate against him sits at 23%. For the uninitiated, these numbers are outstanding - Cy Young Award material.

But it's so much more.

"It's the poise, the confidence in any situation, and it seems like he just gets stronger and stronger as the game wears on," Kapler added.

Nola benefitted Tuesday night from some solo shots from the offense, including blasts by Aaron Altherr, Carlos Santana, and Jorge Alfaro.

Odubel Herrera also contributed, knocking an RBI-single up the middle in the third to extend his on-base streak to 37 games.

The win pushed the Phillies to five games over .500 and brought the club to within a half-game of the Braves in the National League East standings.

The two clubs continue their four-game set Wednesday night as Nick Pivetta faces Chris Stratton.

Injury Update
Mark Leiter Jr. is expected to pitch two innings on Wednesday with Single-A Clearwater. The right-hander is rehabbing a strained right forearm and has yet to pitch for the Phillies this season.
___________________________________

Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

No comments: