Nola and Wheeler Form a Top One-Two Punch
After allowing four earned runs over five innings in a loss to Atlanta last week, Phillies Opening Day starter Aaron Nola's ERA rose to 4.06 on the season. Nola certainly hasn't looked much like an ace recently, but in a dominating performance on Sunday, Nola looked like an ace once again.
The Phillies right-hander gave up just three hits, and recorded nine strikeouts over 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a win over the New York Yankees, making it the best outing Nola has had in almost two months.
"I thought he used his off-speed tremendously today, I thought he used his fast ball up in the zone tremendously today," Phillies manager Joe Girardi stated. "It was really good to see."
It was Nola's best performance since April 18, when he tossed a complete-game two-hit shutout, with 10 strikeouts against the Cardinals. As our buddy Bob Wankel of Crossing Broad tweeted before the game, Nola has been very inconsistent dating back to early May, but finally looked like himself on Sunday.
"Not having the command that I am used to having was frustrating," admitted Nola about his rough stretch of starts. It doesn't keep me from working at it. I still go into every game with confidence, it might not look like it but I always do."
If the Phillies can get that type of consistent effort from Nola, coupled with how good Zack Wheeler has been, it would give the Phillies one of the best one-two pitchers in baseball.
Wheeler has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over his last seven starts, with his most recent start, tossing eight innings, striking out 12 on Thursday against Atlanta.
For the season, Wheeler has a 2.29 ERA 0.90 WHIP with 110 strikeouts in 90 1/3 innings this season, making him a name to watch in the National League Cy Young conversation.
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