Ladies and gentlemen, Aaron Michael Nola.
The ace of the Phillies staff stepped up Wednesday, striking out seven and walking one in 7.1 innings. He only gave up four hits. And the offense backed him up, leading to a 6-0 win over the Marlins.
No, the Phillies did not get swept by Miami.
Cesar Hernandez led off this one with a home run, and hey, that was all they needed as Nola was sharp as can be. Of course, there were issues (in the seventh the Phils, you know, had two on and nobody out, and they got nothing out of it), but the team broke through in the eighth while up 2-0. Maikel Franco (on a hot streak and now hitting .261/.299/.466) doubled home Aaron Altherr and scored a batter later, Odubel Herrera (also hot and now hitting .333/.392/.481) singled home a run, with Altherr adding a sacrifice fly. Baby steps.
But Nola was really good. He left in the eighth, and Gabe Kapler pieced together the final 1.2 with Adam Morgan, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris. Not sure those guys were necessary up 4-0 and 6-0, but the team does have off tomorrow.
The 17-13 Phils are just a game back of the Mets and 1.5 in back of the surging Braves. Geez, if only they beat them like twice more …