Final Score: Phillies 2, Braves 1
The best way to describe Aaron Nola’s outing on Sunday is refreshing.
The night before, his manager called for a better performance from his staff. Phillies starters combined for an ERA just under five in July heading into Sunday.
“This game, as much as we love offense, it’s still about pitching,” Girardi said Saturday. “It’s pitching, pitching and pitching. If you don’t pitch, you don’t have a chance.”
Nola gave them much more than a chance. He threw 8 2/3 innings of one-run ball. An Austin Riley solo shot with two outs kept him from finishing the game. Ranger Suárez came in and delivered a one-out save.
Jean Segura’s solo shot in the fourth opened the scoring for the Phillies. They had a chance to add on in the fourth following two singles from Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins, but Odúbel Herrera grounded to shortstop to end the inning.
Segura also stepped up on defensive side. Nola’s trickiest inning was the seventh. He allowed a leadoff double to Riley. The next batter Dansby Swanson hit a sharp grounder to Segura that should have been a run if it wasn’t for an excellent stop by the Phillies’ most reliable regular in the infield.
“Segura made a heck of a play, man,” Nola said when asked about the seventh inning. “That was unbelievable. Gave me a chance to get out of the inning. That was a big part of the game right there.”
Ronald Torreyes, the Phillies’ Swiss Army Knife, doubled the lead in the eighth on a solo home run off Chris Martin. This comes after Torreyes was called upon to get the final five outs in Saturday’s 15-3 loss. It turned out to be the biggest hit in the game.
Has Torreyes found a way to earn himself more playing time?
“Right now, I’m probably going to play him in a lot of different places,” Girardi said. “He’s going to play some third. I know Jean’s going to need a day off here somewhere, he’s going to play some short. I’m just going to keep him going because he’s playing so well.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Touki Toussaint: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO, 1 HR, 90 pitches
Nola wasn’t the only pitcher who looked fantastic on Sunday. He set a new career high in strikeouts and looked dominant against a team he has struggled against in the past. Toussaint, who is making his second start this season after coming off the injured list with a shoulder injury, might be just what the depleted Braves rotation needs.
Aaron Nola: 8 2/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR, 116 pitches
Nola had his fastball command. His sinker usage game-to-game this season has been volatile, but it appears Nola had a feel for it today. Fans weren’t happy to see Nola getting pulled after 116 pitches, but Riley was probably his last batter anyway. He said in his postgame interview that he’s comfortable throwing around 120 pitches.
“In general with pitching, your fastball command to both sides kind of sets up all your other pitches,” Nola said. “That’s what I worked on a lot in this past week in my bullpen and throwing, trying to get that fastball back in sync.”
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Nola made his 24th career start against the Braves on Sunday. He’s thrown at least six innings in 16 of them, seven innings in 10 starts and eight in four appearances.
- Prior to Sunday’s game, the Phillies made a series of roster moves. Travis Jankowski was placed on the COVID-19 related injured list. Mickey Moniak was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his place on the roster. In addition, Cristopher Sánchez was optioned to Lehigh Valley and Chase Anderson has been reinstated from the COVID-19 IL.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Monday, July 26 vs. Nationals at Citizens Bank Park
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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