Phillies: Ranking the team’s top 5 starting pitchers in 2021
By Matt Rappa
3. Aaron Nola, RHP
- 3-4, 3.94 ERA
- 10 starts (5 quality starts)
- 1 complete game, 1 shutout
- 59 1/3 innings pitched
- 27 runs (26 earned runs) allowed; 7 home runs allowed
- 10 walks, 70 strikeouts
Seven-year veteran Aaron Nola may no longer be the clear-cut “ace” in the Phillies rotation, yet the 2018 All-Star still has put together some impressive outings this season.
The Louisiana native started the year 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA, .219/.257/.313 opposing slash line, and a 28-3 strikeouts-to-walks ratio through his first four starts and 24 2/3 innings pitched. Since then, however, he is 2-3 with a 5.19 ERA, .267/.306/.459 opposing slash line, and a 42-7 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 34 2/3 innings pitched and six starts.
Nola’s best outing of the year came in start No. 4, tossing his first career nine-inning complete-game shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals, yielding just two hits and no walks while striking out 10 of his 30 batters faced. The Phillies hope that Nola unlocks that star potential each time he steps on the mound. And, despite him not quite being the Cy Young Award candidate as he was in recent seasons, he still has 70 strikeouts through 59 1/3 innings.
The Phillies will turn to Nola next on Wednesday, in the third of a four-game set opposite the division-rival Miami Marlins. He is just 1-3 with a 5.65 ERA across five starts on the road this season, so the team will need Nola to reverse such trend and ultimately bounce-back from an overall recent disappointing stretch.