Aaron Nola’s gem helps Philadelphia Phillies take 2-0 NLCS lead over Arizona Diamondbacks

Aaron Nola’s gem helps Phillies take 2-0 NLCS lead over Diamondbacks
(Aaron Nola is the brother of former Greensboro Grasshoppers catcher/SS Austin Nola, who was here about 10 years ago, in Greensboro.)
from Adam Gretz, with YardBarker.com/www.yarbarker.com

The Philadelphia Phillies took a 2-0 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series thanks to a dominant 10-0 win on Tuesday night.

It was an impressive combination of the Phillies bats continuing to unload on National League pitching, as well as another gem of a start from starting pitcher Aaron Nola.

In some ways it was the performance of Nola that stood out more than anything else.

At this point we are used to the Phillies lineup crushing home runs and putting up big numbers on the scoreboard. They have been doing it for much of the second half of the season and all throughout the playoffs.

But when that lineup is complemented by the type of starting pitching they received from Nola on Tuesday night, it becomes an unstoppable combination.

Nola went six shutout innings on Tuesday, allowing just three hits, walking none and striking out seven batters before giving way to the Phillies’ bullpen with what was at the time a six-run lead.

It is Nola’s third dominant start of the playoffs, bringing his postseason total 18.2 innings pitched, 18 strikeouts, only two walks and only two earned runs allowed. That come out to nearly nine strikeouts per nine innings and an ERA of 0.98 in the playoffs.

That is not only helping to drive the Phillies on another deep playoff run, it is also almost certainly increasing his price tag for this winter when he becomes a free agent for the first time in his career.

Nola’s regular season was a little underwhelming when compared to his prior track record, finishing with a 4.46 ERA.

Coming on the heels of a 2021 season where he finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting, it was not what anybody in Philadelphia expected from him.

He is making everybody forget about that in the playoffs, and in the process probably making himself a ton of money when it comes to his next contract.

There is nothing that teams love more than big performances in big games, and it would be difficult for a pitcher to be better than Nola has in these playoffs.

Nola and the Phillies were reportedly not close on numbers when they talked contract earlier this year, and given the demand he is creating for himself this postseason his asking price is probably skyrocketing with every strong postseason start.

In the short-term, the Phillies are now just two wins away from their second straight trip to the World Series and right now they are simply looking like a team on a mission. The bats are clicking on all cylinders. They have received outstanding starting pitching.

Neither Miami or Atlanta was able to match up with them in the opening two rounds of the playoffs, and through two games the Diamondbacks are having the same problem. They are now in a position where they have to win four of the next five games against a team that is doing everything right. It is going to be quite a challenge.