Some of you out there may be worried. But don't be. It's gonna be alright.
I know it's tempting to overreact when you see a pitcher struggle in spring training. I mean, when a dude who is supposed to be pretty good starts looking like Kyle Kendrick's evil twin, it's understandable folks might start to worry a little bit.
Which brings us to news of Thursday's outing by Aaron Nola, who could be the team's Opening Day starter in a few weeks.
Another difficult day for Aaron Nola. He throws 65 pitches in 2 2/3 innings. Erratic command in first two spring starts.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) March 10, 2016
Nola's pitching line today: 2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 4 K & 1 HBP. He needed a whopping 65 pitches to get through his outing. #Phillies— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) March 10, 2016
Yes, that's right, Nola was not sharp once again in his second start of the spring, and this came after his first start in Clearwater in which he gave up four runs, two of them homers, in two innings of work.
So that's six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings this season for a fun-time ERA of 11.57.
Sound the alarms.
Of course, these are the first two games of spring training we're talking about here. It's quite understandable that Nola, in his first big league camp assured of a spot in the starting rotation, would struggle with his command a bit, even though command is his bread and butter.
One must remember this important tenant of spring training. The stats do not matter.
As Matt Winkelman from Phillies Minor Thoughts tweeted earlier this week, the numbers players put up in the spring are often worth about as much as the toilet paper stuck to the bottom of the Phanatic's shoe.
Reminder on Spring Stats, Top 3 by OPS (Phillies):— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) March 8, 2016
15: Utley, Bogusevic, Phelps
14: Brignac, Rupp, Mayberry
13: Brown, Betancourt, Howard
Last year, Cole Hamels put up a 4.15 ERA in six spring starts. In 2011, it was 6.67 in seven spring outings. Also prior to the 2011 season (you know, the one with the Super Rotation?), Cliff Lee had a 4.74 ERA in five starts, and Roy Oswalt had a 6.11 ERA in five starts. Hamels had a 6.00 ERA in six starts before the 2010 season.
You get my drift.
So look, even though Aaron Nola may look like hot garbage right now, it's not likely to carry over into the season. If it does, it would be a huge surprise.
Just chill and enjoy watching Maikel Franco bash two-run homers like it's a bodily function.
Absolutely crushed. #BeLikeMaik pic.twitter.com/iCQGHVvaa0— Phillies (@Phillies) March 10, 2016
Another one. #BeLikeMaik pic.twitter.com/gWm73cElKQ— Phillies (@Phillies) March 10, 2016