Phillies: Five things we learned from the month of May

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LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31: Yasmani Grandal of the Los Angeles Dodgers stands at the plate while Scott Kingery #4 of the Philadelphia Phillies scores a run in the seventh inning as Jesmuel Valentin #9 signals to stand at Dodger Stadium on May 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31: Yasmani Grandal of the Los Angeles Dodgers stands at the plate while Scott Kingery #4 of the Philadelphia Phillies scores a run in the seventh inning as Jesmuel Valentin #9 signals to stand at Dodger Stadium on May 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 31: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Dodger Stadium on May 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Aaron Nola is an ace

We have known that Aaron Nola is a good pitcher for a few years now, but he has ascended to another level this season. He now ranks first among all National League pitchers in wins above replacement with 3.5 this season. He is well on his way not only to an All-Star Game but potentially a Cy Young award.

In six May starts, Nola was simply ridiculous. He struck out 46 batters and walked just eight in 40 innings. He finished the month with a 1.80 ERA, 2.07 fielding-independent pitching, and 0.93 WHIP. Per Fangraphs, only Max Scherzer had more wins above replacement in May.

Nola went six innings in each May start, going at least seven in three of them. His last start of the month was huge as he went seven one-run innings against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, picking up the win in a 2-1 victory. He finished his start striking out six of the last eight batters he faced.

As it stands now, Nola, Scherzer, and Jacob deGrom are the three NL pitchers vying to start for the All-Star Game. Nola may lose out simply because he is new to the scene, but he should still be heavily in consideration.

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