Phillies: Aaron Nola to start 5th game of season vs. Yankees

The Phillies have tabbed Aaron Nola to start on Tuesday against the Yankees

Monday marks “Reopening Day” for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they will play their first game since Sunday, July 26, due to the Miami Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak.

This week, the Phillies are slated to play a four-game home-and-home series against manager Joe Girardi and shortstop Didi Gregorius‘ former team in the New York Yankees. The skipper has already tabbed veteran Jake Arrieta to take the mound in Monday’s series opener in the Bronx opposite Cy Young contender Gerrit Cole — who already has two wins this season with a 3.09 ERA and 12 strikeouts.

Now, we know who will start for the Phillies in the second of two road games at Yankee Stadium, before both teams trek down south to Citizens Bank Park to finish the set on Wednesday and Thursday.

Assuming the game can be played amid inclement weather related to Isaias, Aaron Nola (0-1, 6.75 ERA, 7 SO) will take the mound for the Phillies on Tuesday opposite the team’s former southpaw starting pitcher J.A. Happ (0-0, 9.00 ERA, 2 SO).

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It will be Nola’s first career start against the Yankees; and, in naming him to start the fifth game of the season, the Phillies are skipping over presumed No. 5 starter Zach Eflin in the rotation.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen notes, Nola will start two of the team’s first five games for the third consecutive season, making him the first Phillie to do so since Shane Rawley (1986-1988). Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton, Breen writes notably accomplished this feat in each of his 15 seasons in Philadelphia.

Only two current Yankees have previously faced Nola, infielder DJ LeMahieu (1-3) and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (4-11, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 SO). LeMahieu has logged 12 hits in 30 at-bats this season; Stanton, meanwhile, has already slugged a pair of doubles and home runs, along with 6 RBI, in eight games played.

Tuesday’s game is slated for a 6:05 p.m. first pitch.