Nothing really seems to get to Philadelphia Phillies ace Aaron Nola. You could have him pitch at Citizens Bank Park or in Alaska, and it probably wouldn’t change his approach to the game. But Nola seemed especially comfortable pitching at Nationals Park in 2018.
Nola was an All-Star for the first time in 2018, with the game being played at Nationals Park. All he did in his one inning was retire Salvador Perez, Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. The next month, Nola outdueled three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer in a matinee at Nationals Park, striking out nine Nationals across eight shutout innings.
Manager Gabe Kapler elected not to have Nola pitch Tuesday against Scherzer, when he would have been on full rest. That move paid off, as Zach Eflin struck out nine over five shutout innings in an 8-2 Phillies win. Just like last August, Kapler will now hand the ball to Nola for an afternoon game in the nation’s capital. This time, though, a win by Nola would push the club to 5-0.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of today’s series finale against the Nationals:
- Andrew McCutchen, left field
- Jean Segura, shortstop
- Bryce Harper, right field
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- J.T. Realmuto, catcher
- Odubel Herrera, center field
- Cesar Hernandez, second base
- Maikel Franco, third base
- Aaron Nola, pitcher
- Adam Eaton, right field
- Brian Dozier, second base
- Anthony Rendon, third base
- Juan Soto, left field
- Ryan Zimmeman, first base
- Kurt Suzuki, catcher
- Wilmer Difo, shortstop
- Anibal Sanchez, pitcher
- Victor Robles, center field
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup
- Aaron Nola (1-0 with a 1.50 ERA and 2.77 FIP in 2019) vs. Anibal Sanchez (7-6 with a 2.83 ERA and 3.62 FIP with Braves in 2018)
- In five starts against the Nationals in 2018, Aaron Nola went 3-1 with a 2.14 ERA across 33.2 innings.
- Sanchez was 1-0 with an 0.82 ERA in two starts against the Phillies in 2018.
Pregame Phillies Nuggets
- After his home run in the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s Phillies win, Bryce Harper now has 93 career home runs at Nationals Park.
- Harper and Maikel Franco both have three home runs. There is a three-way tie for the National League lead in home runs, with Paul Goldschmidt, Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger all having hit four home runs already.
- Harper has homered in three consecutive games. The franchise record is five, with Rhys Hoskins the most recent to accomplish the feat in August of 2017. Franco hit home runs in four consecutive games in July of 2016.
- Nationals Park, 1:05 p.m. ET start time
- NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB Network
- SportsRadio 94 WIP
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