What were the three most memorable Philadelphia Phillies pitching performances of 2021?
No, seriously, the Phillies bullpen tied the MLB record for most blown saves in a single season, matching the 2004 Colorado Rockies, who set the record with 34. Thankfully, the Washington Nationals decided to blow 35, and mitigate the Phillies’ embarrassment.
But on the last day of 2021, we’re not going to talk about the bad; we’ve done plenty of that. We’re going out on a high note, looking back at the three most memorable (in a good way) pitching performances by Phillies in 2021!
Overall, Aaron Nola‘s 2021 was a season we (and probably he) would rather forget. However, hidden among the mess was a diamond in the rough: his performance against the New York Mets in which he evoked one of their own legends.
On June 25, 2021, Nola and the Phillies were in Queens to play their division rivals. Nola was coming off a terrible start against the San Francisco Giants, in which he had allowed a then-season-high six earned runs and only lasted 2 1/3 innings. As such, expectations were low when Nola took the mound.
Nola proceeded to shock baseball fans by striking out 10 consecutive Mets to tie the MLB record, which had been set by none other than Mets legend Tom Seaver on April 22, 1970.
In doing so, Nola also made franchise history; no Phillies pitcher had ever struck out more than seven batters consecutively.
But Nola wasn’t satisfied just yet. In the top of the fifth, he broke up the scoreless game with an RBI double to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
By the time Joe Girardi picked up the bullpen phone, Nola had pitched 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball, only allowing two hits and one walk. His 12 strikeouts would set and remain his season-high for the remainder of the year.