Phillies: Aaron Nola throws 1st complete game, shutout
By Matt Rappa
Phillies RHP Aaron Nola notched his first career complete game against the Marlins
It took Philadelphia Phillies ace Aaron Nola parts of six seasons and 136 starts, but the right-handed pitcher finally accomplished a long-awaited feat that is rare in this day and age of Major League Baseball.
Facing the Miami Marlins in Game 1 of Friday’s seven-inning doubleheader at Marlins Park — the second game of the overall seven-game series — the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native tossed his first career complete game and shutout, behind an 11-0 Phillies rout.
Spanning 25 batters faced, the 2018 National League All-Star yielded just three hits and no walks while striking out 10 batters on 106 pitches and 70 strikes. Nola tossed 17 first-pitch strikes, while inducing 23 called strikes and 13 swinging strikes.
Nola now has 20 strikeouts in his last two starts, as well as four 10-plus strikeout games this season spanning nine starts, tied for the second-most in Major League Baseball.
Nola did not allow a hit even until the top of the fifth, but as The Athletic’s Matt Gelb notes, no-hitters are not official in a shortened seven-inning game due to a no-hitter.
The shutout came at an opportune time, with Game 2 of the doubleheader to be a bullpen game due to right-hander Zack Wheeler‘s freak fingernail injury. Just four other pitchers have thrown shutouts this season: Trevor Bauer (2, Cincinnati Reds), Gerrit Cole (1, New York Yankees), Lucas Giolito (1, Chicago White Sox), and Kyle Hendricks (1, Chicago Cubs).
Nola received plenty of run support in the 11-0 win, which increased the Phillies’ lead over the Marlins for the second spot in the National League East division from a half game to a game and a half. Andrew McCutchen and Rhys Hoskins combined for more than half of the 11 RBI, producing three each. McCutchen launched a two-run blast in the third for the game’s first runs, while Hoskins hit a three-run blast in the fourth to blow the game open, 9-0. McCutchen finished a triple shy of the cycle.