The Phillies have had their share of issues this season, but if every game was played on Saturday, they might be the favorites to win the World Series. Their first Saturday game of the season came on July 25th when they stomped the Marlins 7-1. After missing a weekend thanks to COVID-19 related cancellations, they picked up where they left off last week, shutting out the Braves 5-0. This week, thanks to Aaron Nola and a five-run fifth inning, the Phillies once again showed their Saturday dominance by beating the New York Mets 6-2.
Nola’s evening didn’t get off to the smoothest start as he allowed two base runners in two of the first three innings. But he was able to escape both of those jams unscathed, and cruised from that point on. He retired the side in each of his final four innings, marking the third straight excellent start by the staff ace.
Aaron Nola is the first Phillies pitcher since the current mound distance was established in 1893 to allow three or fewer hits and strike out eight or more batters in three straight starts.— Matt Breen (@matt_breen) August 16, 2020
Jean Segura got the Phillies on the board early with a second inning home run, but it wasn’t until the fifth inning that they were able to break things open.
The Phillies loaded the bases with nobody out, but after Scott Kingery’s fly out wasn’t deep enough to score a run, there was a growing sense of dread that they might squander the situation. But Andrew McCutchen’s walk forced in a run, and then Rhys Hoskins delivered perhaps his most productive at bat of the season.
Bryce Harper doubled home another run, and with the way Nola was pitching, six runs was more than enough support.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Phillies game if the bullpen didn’t allow at least one run, but thankfully the two-run home run Ramon Rosso allowed in the ninth was too little, too late.
The Phillies will send Zack Wheeler to the mound on Sunday to attempt the sweep. Sunday’s haven’t been quite as lucrative for the team, but hopefully they can figure out a way to have that Saturday night magic carry over.