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Not Sharp Nola: Braves 6, Phillies 3

Nola struggles as the Phillies fall in game two vs. the Braves

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

After a thrilling game-one victory over the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies took the field in game two with hopes of getting a series win. They sent Aaron Nola to the mound who came into the game 2-0 against Atlanta this season. Unfortunately, he fell to 2-1 after this tough 6-3 loss. The Braves sent NL rookie of the year candidate Spencer Strider to the mound, who has been one of the surprise pitchers in all of the MLB this season.

The game started poorly for the Phillies and Nola as the Braves scored one run in the first inning on an Austin Riley RBI double. Then Strider, who is known for his strikeout stuff, got Hoskins and Realmuto swinging in his scoreless bottom of the first inning. After nothing in the second inning for either team, the Braves scored again in the top of the third on a Michael Harris solo home run. Atlanta doubled their lead and the Phillies needed to answer.

Alec Bohm stepped up in the bottom of the third and continued his hot streak, for the 11th straight game Bohm recorded a hit, this one being a leadoff single. Sadly, the next three hitters all struck out and Strider was up to five strikeouts through three innings.

In the top of the fourth Riley led off with another double. That guy has become a certified Phillie-killer. Coming into this game Riley was hitting a .419 against the Phillies with an OPS of 1.100. Also, he extended his hitting streak to 18-games. Then with Riley on second and Eddie Rosario stepping up to the plate, Nola gave up a line-drive single to right field, scoring Riley and giving the Braves the 3-0 advantage.

To make matters worse, Rosario advanced to third base a few pitches later thanks to a J.T. Realmuto throwing error which happened because he tried to catch Rosario stealing second. Luckily, Nola was able to pitch out of it and keep the score at 3-0 heading to the bottom of four. After another zero on the board for the ‘Phils, the Braves added two more in the top of the fifth to make it 5-0. Nola did not have his best stuff tonight and the lack of offense made this an awful showing.

The ‘Phils finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth when Kyle Schwarber hit his 31st home run of the season.

But, the Phillies still trailed 5-1. Was there hope for another comeback? We did not see another run in the game until the ninth inning when the aforementioned Harris hit an RBI double. The ‘Phils entered their half of the ninth needing five runs to tie and six to win. At least they showed some fight in their last at-bats. Rhys Hoskins led off the inning with a single followed by a Realmuto two-run homer. The Phillies now only trailed by three. After a Darick Hall strikeout and Nick Castellanos’ walk, the Braves had to go to their closer, Kenley Jansen, to try and get the final two outs.

Sadly, that is exactly what he did. Jansen closes the door on a possible comeback and the Phillies lose 6-3. As we near the end of July every one of these series against divisional opponents becomes that much more important. The rubber match is set for Wednesday afternoon at 12:35 with Kyle Gibson throwing for the Phillies against ex-Phillie Charlie Morton for Atlanta.