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They Scored and They Won: Phillies 5, Padres 1

Early offense and Aaron Nola were enough for the Phillies to earn a win over the Padres

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres
Aaron Nola wasn’t sharp, but he didn’t allow a run either
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into Saturday’s game, the big story was that the Phillies hadn’t scored in 19 consecutive innings. Thankfully, that quickly became a non-story as Nick Williams tripled home a run in the first.

Asdrubal Cabrera drove home Williams, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. With Aaron Nola on the mound against a weak Padres lineup, that should have pretty much sealed a win, right?

Well, it wasn’t the usual domination that we’ve come to expect from Nola. Partially due to an extremely tight strike zone from umpire Jansen Viscoti, Nola struggled with his command in the early innings. He allowed two baserunners in the first, but escaped thanks to a double play. In the second, he loaded the bases on a walk to pitcher Walker Lockett, but was bailed out when the next batter, Manuel Margot, grounded out on the first pitch.

After that, Nola settled into a groove. He only had one clean inning, but when his night was over, he had pitched six innings without allowing a run. That’s pretty darned good for what looked like might be a poor start.

The Phillies didn’t stop scoring runs either. Maikel Franco hit a ball that wasted no time in leaving the yard:

And Cesar Hernandez joined in the fun as well:

They ended up scoring five runs in the game which is five more than they had managed over the past two games combined. They may have stopped scoring after the fifth inning, and the bullpen may have lost the shutout, but that really didn’t matter.

I hesitate to call a mid-August game a must-win. But losing a second consecutive game to the last place Padres with Aaron Nola on the mound? That would not have been good. So while it wasn’t the prettiest win, we can all be happy that they held on to first place for another night, and feel optimistic that Jake Arrieta will pitch them to a series win on Sunday.