Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
Aaron Nola secures postseason spot for Phillies
It's an odd relationship because the two clubs are in different leagues, but the historical connection between the Phillies and Houston's Minute Maid Park grew stronger on Monday night. 

The Phillies clinched a Wild Card berth in Houston on Monday with a 3-0 victory over the Astros, marking the second time in franchise history the club secured a postseason spot at Minute Maid Park, the last time coming in 2011. 

The berth snapped an 11-year postseason drought for the Phillies, currently the longest in all of baseball. 

"This is what you play for," Bryce Harper told reporters afterward. "This is the goal."

Aaron Nola was masterful for the Phillies, surrendering just two hits over 6 2/3 innings; he didn't walk a batter and struck out nine. The effort dropped his ERA to 3.25 on the year. 

Nola ends the season with 235 strikeouts and 29 walks over 205 innings of work, making him the second pitcher in baseball history to record a season of over 200 innings pitched with 230 or more strikeouts and 30 or fewer walks. The only other pitcher to accomplish a similar feat is Jim Whitney of the 1884 Boston Beaneaters. 

Kyle Schwarber hit a leadoff homer in the opening frame, then hit another solo shot in the eighth as he and Bryson Stott went back-to-back. Stott finished with three hits in the win. 

Jose Alvarado tossed 1 1/3 scoreless frames, collecting three strikeouts in relief. Zach Eflin secured the the save with a perfect ninth; it was the first save of his professional career. 

As the celebration continued near the Phils' dugout, the scoreboard at Minute Maid Park displayed "Congratulations Philadelphia" as the champagne flowed. 

“It hasn’t been an easy season,” Schwarber told reporters. “We went through a manager change, went through the MVP being down... and we went through people saying that our season’s over, that don’t even count the Phillies and they can’t catch the baseball... and for us to get all of our guys back and healthy and for them to all be there and contribute, that’s what it’s about.” 

Philadelphia's 11-year postseason drought was the longest in baseball as the Mariners, who had not reached the playoffs in 21 years, clinched a berth on Friday night. 

It's still unclear who the Phillies will face come Friday in the Wild Card round. Depending on how the next two days shake out, the club either will travel to Saint Louis or New York for a best-of-three series.

13 starS


Unknown said…
Who was the other pitcher with over 200 innings pitched with 230 or more strikeouts and 30 or fewer walks?
Unknown said…
1884 Jim Whitney of the Boston Beaneaters had 270K/27W in 336 IP
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