Another strong outing by Phillies ace Aaron Nola puts him back in contention for the Cy Young
Aaron Nola cruised through the Mets lineup on Saturday evening to another win, reminding Phillies fans why he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Nola pitched seven shutout innings with only three hits allowed, and he didn’t allow a hit after the first batter of the third inning. He struck out eight batters, once again utilizing his dancing knuckle curve to pick up five of his eight punchouts.
During the game, the TV broadcast put up a graphic showing the National League leaders for lowest opponent on-base percentage, and Nola was number one at .176, more than .20 points better than Jon Lester.
With 37 strikeouts, Nola also moved to second in the NL behind Sonny Gray, who will be another Cy Young contender.
Nola remains among the best in the National League in several other categories, including BB/9, Walks & Hits/9, H/9, K/9, K/BB, and FIP.
His 2.05 ERA is also set to be the second-best in baseball once his stats from Saturday night go into the records.
If Nola continues on this trend, he should absolutely be not only in contention for the Cy Young, but a favorite for the second time in three years.
Gray and his Reds teammate Trevor Bauer will likely be among the top names up for the award. Jacob deGrom, Kyle Hendricks, and Max Scherzer are also potential candidates depending on if their teams remain healthy to keep the season going.
One thing Nola has that all of those other guys don’t is J.T. Realmuto behind the plate giving him the best options and getting strikes that other catches might not frame well enough. That knuckle curve has been fantastic all year, and it’s a big strikeout pitch that will continue to pick up more strikeouts throughout the year.
If Nola can stay healthy and the Phillies don’t miss more games, a Cy Young season definitely isn’t out of the question.