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Phillies call upon Nola to avoid sweep

Aaron Nola will start Sunday. (Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

Saturday Night Disaster. Disappointment. Embarrassment. Whatever you prefer to call it, it was not a great night at all for the Philadelphia Phillies (54-50). This time around, there are not any reports coming out of the clubhouse of players requesting to be traded or release. That might be the only positive to come out of the organization’s second attempt at the Saturday Night Special. You can even argue that the second time around was even worse than the first.

There is hope for the Phillies on Sunday as they will send their ace Aaron Nola to the mound. In his fourth full season in the big leagues, he has already established himself as a perennial Braves-killer. He has beaten the Braves nine times, more than he has beaten any other team, and has a 2.26 career ERA in just over 95 innings of work. He will be opposed by Kevin Gausman, Nola’s college teammate at Louisiana State University. After putting average numbers up with both Baltimore and Atlanta in 2018, the 28-year-old Colorado native has struggled as a middle-of-the-rotation starter this year, sporting a 5.71 ERA in 69.1 innings of work. He was fantastic in his last outing against the Nationals, going seven innings and striking out eight in route to his first victory since May 11.

Here’s everything you need to know for Sunday’s finale against the Braves…

Phillies Lineup 

  1. Scott Kingery, center field
  2. Jean Segura, short stop
  3. Bryce Harper, right field
  4. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  5. J.T. Realmuto, catcher
  6. Cesar Hernandez, second base
  7. Maikel Franco, third base
  8. Adam Haseley, left field
  9. Aaron Nola, pitcher

Braves Lineup

  1. Ronald Acuna Jr. left field
  2. Ozzie Albies, second base
  3. Freddie Freeman, first base
  4. Josh Donaldson, third base
  5. Brian McCann, catcher
  6. Adam Duvall, left field
  7. Enter Inciarte, center field
  8. Johan Camargo, short stop
  9. Kevin Gausman, pitcher

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Aaron Nola (3.64 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 3.95 xFIP) vs. Kevin Gausman (5.71 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 4.51 xFIP)
  • Today is Nola’s third time facing the Braves this season. His first was Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park and the second was a July 3 gem at SunTrust Park. He has combined for 20 strikeouts, ten walks, 12 hits and six earned runs surrendered for a 2.95 ERA in two victories.
  • Gausman will face the Phillies for the first time this season. He faced them twice in 2018 in September with the Braves. He gave up a combined five earned runs and struck out 13 batters in 11.1 innings of work.

Pregame Phillies Nuggets 

  • Another positive to come out of yesterday’s ugly game was that it was photo night. Fans were able to take the field before Saturday’s game and take selfies with the players in the annual tradition. It was also photo night back in 1979 when the Phillies first wore their all-burgundy uniforms, so it was only appropriate to schedule both on the same night once again.

  • Nola and Gausman were both featured in LSU’s starting rotation in 2012. Nola, a freshman, posted a 3.61 ERA with 89 strikeouts to seven walks in 89.2 innings that year. Gausman, a sophomore, had a 2.77 ERA and led the SEC in wins (12). Both pitchers were selected early in the first round in their respective draft years, but Nola has been far-and-away the better big leaguer.
  • Bryce Harper, César Hernández and Brad Miller have all experienced success against Gausman in the past. Harper is 4 for 10 lifetime against him with two RBIs. Hernández is 4 for 8 with a home run and Brad Miller, who has faced Gausman more than any other Phillies hitter, is 5 for 16 with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs.
  • Short stop Johan Camargo was the only Braves hitter excluded from all the fun last night. He went 0-6 on a night where every other starter in the lineup had a hit and scored a run.

Ticket IQ Programming Information

  • 1:05 at Citizens Bank Park
  • NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Sportsradio 94 WIP; WTTM 1680 (Spanish)


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