Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Ranger Suarez could propel Phillies to playoffs.
The Philadelphia Phillies have won three straight games — two against the Atlanta Braves — in large part thanks to the team’s starting pitching.
On Thursday night, Ranger Suarez, pitched six innings and gave up zero earned runs, while striking out four opposing batters. Meanwhile, Aaron Nola continues to pitch well this month. In four September starts, Nola has given up five earned runs. In that same span, the Phillies ace has posted a 2.08 ERA and has struck out 28 batters in 21 2/3 innings.
Nola has been a victim of criticism by Phillies fans recently, however, he has shown the ability to pitch in high-leverage situations as of late.
Nola has been a solid starting pitcher since his outing against the Diamondbacks in Arizona in late August. Many fans predicted his poor showing would elude to a poor September, but this has been proven to be untrue. The right-hander has a 3.75 ERA over his last 15 games with 109 strikeouts in 95 2/3 innings.
The club will look to rely on their rotation of Zack Wheeler, Nola, and Suarez to lead them to a postseason position for the first time in more than a decade. Nola has been pitching like an ace in September, and he needs to continue that dominance in the coming weeks. He joined Hall of Famer Roy Halladay and former Phillies great Cliff Lee, as one of three pitchers to strikeout 200 batters — while surrendering only 30 walks — in his first 30 starts of the season.
The Phillies have a good rotation. Nola, Wheeler, and Suarez are great. The offense must contribute, too. Rhys Hoskins was hitting the ball to the opposite field on Friday, which is a good sign. The Phillies’ offense woke up and will look to carry that momentum into the final two home games of the regular season.
The Phillies need to rely on their starters to keep them in games, as well as the offense and bullpen. Taking the first two games against a very good Atlanta team should instill confidence and hopefully be the catalyst in the push for a “Red October.”