Aaron Nola for the Phillies
The Phillies will turn to Aaron Nola Wednesday for Game 2 of the National League Wild Card Series at Citizens Bank Park. A victory will advance the Phillies to the NL Division Series where they would face top-seeded Atlanta. A loss would force a deciding Game 3 tomorrow night. 

There's no sugarcoating the fact Nola had a subpar regular season, posting a 4.46 ERA over 32 starts. His 1.15 WHIP was the highest mark of his career since 2019, and his 1.5 homers per nine innings was the highest rate of his career. 

The good news is Nola pieced together two solid starts at the end of the regular season, allowing three runs over those two starts while collecting 16 strikeouts. He didn't issue a walk and, perhaps most importantly, surrendered just one homer. 

"I felt good those past two outings," Nola said on Tuesday. "Hopefully I can keep this going tomorrow. I'm just excited for this series. It's not really a new team we're facing. We see them a lot. They've seen our pitching staff a good bit. They're a good squad. "It's going to be a hard fought battle, and we're ready to compete against them. Our guy today, he's going to go out there and do everything we can, like he has done all year for us today. Start the series off good. It's an exciting time to be here in the postseason again." 

Nola last pitched eight days ago, but the extra rest isn't a cause for concern. He's made 25 appearances in his career on six days or more of rest, pitching to a 3.29 ERA. 

"I threw two bullpen sessions this go round," Nola said. "I threw a little bit more than I usually do just to stay ready. I didn't want too much time off because eight days is kind of a long time. "I feel ready. My body feels healthy. I feel like I got some good work in this week." 

Nola has faced the Marlins 23 times over his career, posting a 5-10 record with a 3.58 ERA. 

As for the Marlins, left-hander Braxton Garrett will toe the rubber with his club on the brink of elimination. The 26-year-old went 9-7 on the year with a 3.66 ERA. He made two starts this year against the Phils, surrendering six runs over 11 frames. 

Phillies Lineup 
Schwarber DH 
Turner 6 
Bohm 5 
Harper 3 
Realmuto 2 
Castellanos 9 
Stott 4 
Pache 7 
Rojas 8 
Nola RHP 

Rob Says
Manager Rob Thomson is hoping the Nola of late-September carries into October. "If he throws the way he did the last two games, he's going to be fine," Thomson said. "He's going to be able to throw strikes, not give free passes, keep the ball down, locate his fastball in, his breaking ball, and use his change-up. If he does that, he's going to be fine."

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post