Phillies Nation

2022 Postgame Recaps

Aaron Nola, Seranthony Domínguez pitch like All-Stars as Phillies win fifth straight


Aaron Nola pitched very well Saturday. (Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire)

Final: Phillies 2, Nationals 1 (10 innings)

Before Saturday afternoon’s game, Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson said that while he hadn’t given the question much thought, Aaron Nola was one of the players that stuck out to him as an All-Star candidate on the team.

In his 14th start of the season, Nola pitched very much like someone who could be heading to his second midsummer classic. Over eight shutout innings, Nola outdueled Josiah Gray. With the help of Seranthony Domínguez — also a potential All-Star candidate — the Phillies were able to beat the Nationals in extra innings for the second time in as many games.

Gray worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first inning, and went on to pitch six shutout innings, limiting an undermanned Phillies lineup to just one run.

Yairo Muñoz, starting at third base Saturday, broke up the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh inning with a 394-foot blast off of Nationals reliever Erasmo Ramírez:

The one run scored on Muñoz’s home run was enough for Nola to hand the ball to Brad Hand in the ninth inning with a 1-0 lead. Nola went eight shutout innings Saturday, and has now pulled even with teammate Zack Wheeler and potential All-Star Game teammates Sandy Alcantara and Joe Musgrove with a 2.4 fWAR, the top mark among all National League pitchers.

But for all of Nola’s brilliance, the 29-year-old didn’t get the win Saturday, because with the Nationals down to their final strike in the bottom of the ninth, Lane Thomas singled into right field to score Juan Soto and tie the game. Brad Hand, on for the save, had walked Soto to begin the inning.

Had Soto — one of the game’s most dangerous offensive players — not been scheduled to lead off, it feels entirely possible that the left-handed Hand wouldn’t have been tabbed to come on for the save. But he was, and the decision by Thomson immediately backfired when Hand failed his first assignment.

Fortunately for the Phillies, Rhys Hoskins came off the bench in the top of the 10th inning and drove in the ghost runner to give the Phillies a 2-1 advantage. While the Phillies would then squander having the bases loaded and no outs, Domínguez retired the side in order in the bottom of the 10th, securing the victory — and perhaps the closer’s role — for the Phillies.

With the win, the Phillies improve to 36-31. Rob Thomson’s squad has won five games in a row and 15 of 17 overall.

Meanwhile, the Nationals fall to 23-46. Even with the addition of a third Wild Card, the Nationals are certainly going to be sellers in advance of the Aug. 2 trade deadline.

The Phillies and Nationals will wrap up their five-game weekend series Sunday afternoon, with Zach Eflin slated to square off with Jackson Tetreault.

Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance

  • Aaron Nola was superb Saturday evening, limiting the Nationals to just four hits over eight innings, while striking out eight batters. On the season, his ERA is down to 3.11.
  • While Josiah Gray did walk three batters, the Phillies managed just one hit against him across six shutout innings. Dave Martinez stretched the 24-year-old out all the way to 117 pitches in his 13th start of the season.

Ticket IQ Next Game

  • June 19 vs. Nationals at Nationals Park
  • 12:05 p.m. ET
  • TV: Peacock
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

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