No, closer. Come right over here. Good, now are you listening?
::whips out bullhorn:: AARON NOLA IS AN ACE.
Let me say it even louder.
Aaron Nola is an ace
Nola was masterful
Let’s start with the basics. Nola pitched seven innings of five-hit, one run ball. He threw 109 pitches. He struck out a career-high 12 batters. He was precise, he was in control, and he walked not a single batter. Watching him pitch was absolutely thrilling.
Now let’s really dive in.
Aaron Nola is just the 9th Phillies pitcher to have 12+ strikeouts and 0 walks in a game— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) May 9, 2018
The rest: Velasquez, Lee (4x), Schilling (4x), Mulholland, Carlton (3x), Bunning (3x), Dennis Bennett, Pete Alexander— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) May 9, 2018
Aaron Nola generated 26 swings and misses tonight vs Giants. Only 1 MLB starter has recorded more in game this year: SEA's Paxton (31).— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) May 9, 2018
Since pitch data tracked from '08, only 2 #Phillies SP tallied more in game: Velasquez's 27 (16-K game 4/4/16) & Hamels' 27 (no-hitter 7/25/15)
Aaron Nola missed so many bats tonight (26) that he went from 24th in the NL in swinging strike rate to 10th.— Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS) May 9, 2018
I like all of those things. Nola’s ERA is down to 2.05, by the way.
Aaron Nola owned the world
LA -"There's nothing like being on the mound and being in control. It's like you own the whole world"— Franzke & LA (@FranzkeLA) May 9, 2018
Larry Anderson knows what he’s talking about. Aaron Nola owned the whole world on Tuesday night.
And look at this
My knees are wobbly.
The bullpen didn’t blow it
I’m not saying that the bullpen would have blown it, or even that it was likely, but the memory of Sunday is still so, so fresh. And to be fair, Edubray Ramos, who came into the game in the eighth inning, gave up the game’s second run. And even worse: it was a homer hit by Pablo Sandoval, who against all odds is still in baseball and is hitting .255. But after that, things settled down. After two outs, Ramos was replaced by Tommy Hunter. He got an out in the eighth and one in the ninth, and then Hector Neris came in. It’s okay, though! He was great! He struck out both batters he faced to save the game.
Other stuff happened, too
It’s true, this game wasn’t just Aaron Nola being amazing for seven innings and the bullpen. The Phillies hit three home runs tonight. Jorge Alfaro hit an absolute bomb that went 475 feet.
I’m pretty sure he’s the starting catcher now. Right? Oh, and speaking of smashed, check out this dinger from Aaron Altherr.
I’m afraid to dig up a video of Carlos Santana’s homer. I’m afraid if I shed more light on it, the hitting might stop. He had two hard-hit balls before that home run, so I hope that’s a good sign.
Obligatory Odubel Herrera update
He went 2-for-4. He’s hitting .346. He continues to be amazing, and I love him without reservation.
Now at 37, Odubel Herrera's reached base streak is old enough to have a degree, crippling student debt, two mortgages and an angst-ridden teenage son.— Ben Harris (@byBenHarris) May 9, 2018
We’re seeing the Good Phillies right now, and holy crap is it fun.