Some games you got it, some games you don’t.
This was definitely one where Aaron Nola didn’t have it.
In a steady rain and mid-50’s temperatures, the former LSU Tiger couldn’t adjust, giving up six runs in 2 2⁄3 innings before departing. Everything seemed fine when the bottom of the second was completed. The Phillies had a two run lead thanks to a solo home run from Didi Gregorius and an RBI single from Nola himself, scoring Jay Bruce who had doubled earlier.
Then the third happened.
Singles from Hyun-Jin Ryu and Bo Bichette, followed by a walk to Cavan Biggio and an RBI single from Vlad Guerrero, Jr. plated the first run and left the bases loaded. Nola struck out Randal Grichuk looking, but then walked in another run, tying it up at 2.
Then came Lourdes Gurriel. He took a first pitch fastball and deposited it into the left field stands for a grand slam and put the Blue Jays up, 6-2. They never looked back.
The Phillies got one back in the sixth on an RBI double by Scott Kingery, scoring Jean Segura, but the Blue Jays came back with four in the top of the seventh off of Jose Alvarez, putting the game effectively out of reach.
Gurriel hit an RBI in that seventh and tacked on a two run double in the eighth, which gave him a whopping eight RBI on the night.
These types of games happen to Nola every now and again, just like they happen to most pitchers. It’s likely he’ll turn the page and pitch perfectly fine the next game. Jose Alvarez, though, he’s on thin ice. Staring down the barrel of a demotion, he’ll need to rebound with a few nice outings if he hopes to avoid Lehigh Valley.
The teams will conclude their quick two game series tomorrow night.