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Joe Girardi confirms Aaron Nola will start on opening day


Philadelphia Phillies manager Aaron Nola confirmed Monday afternoon that Aaron Nola will start against the Miami Marlins on opening day.

Nola struck out four and allowed just one hit against the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals in a tune-up Saturday evening. Any thought that he may have been behind after reporting late to summer camp because he was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was put to bed Saturday.

Now 27, Nola will be starting on opening day for the third consecutive season. The last Phillies pitcher to make three consecutive opening day starts was Hall of Famer Roy Halladay, who did it between 2010 and 2012.

Aaron Nola will be the Phillies ace in 2020. (Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

Nola will be opposed by 24-year-old righty Sandy Alcantara, who went 6-14 with a 3.88 ERA, 4.55 FIP and 2.3 fWAR across 197.1 innings for the Marlins a season ago. Ironically, Alcantara started against the Phillies in the final game of the 2019 season, scattering eight hits and one run across six innings. The Phillies lost that game, 4-3.

After Nola, the Phillies have quite a bit of uncertainty in their starting rotation. The Phillies were happy with Zach Eflin’s two-inning simulated game this past Saturday, and he’ll pitch again on Thursday. Zack Wheeler’s wife is due to give birth to their first child in July, and we’re more than halfway through the month, so losing the No. 2 starter for a brief period is looming over the start of the season.

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