The run that felt like destiny has officially come to an end for the Philadelphia Phillies. Throughout most of these playoffs it felt like the Phillies were on their way back to the World Series and at certain times it didn't even feel like any team would come close to knocking them off. Well, the Arizona Diamondbacks stormed back and shocked the world, ending Philadelphia's season prematurely.
There were a lot of good moments this season but it is ultimately a failure. The Phillies were huge favorites in the NLCS and had a commanding 2-0 series lead. They even went home up 3-2, needing one win to close it out. Unfortunately, the stars came up small, and the Phillies will watch the World Series from their couches.
As Philadelphia prepares for another run at their first World Series championship since 2008, they'll have several tough decisions to make. They'll be saying goodbye to plenty of contributors from this season and seasons past.
It didn't end the way anyone had envisioned. Aaron Nola looked untouchable through his first three postseason starts. He allowed just two runs in 18 2/3 innings pitched in those starts, earning victories at home against the Marlins, Braves and Diamondbacks. It looked like Nola was on his way toward pitching another gem in Game 6 when he struck out three batters in the first inning. Unfortunately, it all went downhill from there.
Nola wound up allowing four runs in just 4 1/3 innings of work, giving the Diamondbacks some much-needed momentum. It's not only Nola's fault that the Phillies lost Game 6, as the offense managed just one run, but the Phillies did expect more from their number two starter.
After his first three postseason starts it looked like the Phillies would have no choice but to pay the impending free agent whatever it'd take for him to come back, but Nola's clunker in Game 6 reminded the Phillies of his poor regular season. Nola's 4.46 regular season ERA was not what the Phillies had envisioned, and with Nola set to earn a ton of money in free agency, letting him go feels more and more likely.
It was reported earlier this postseason by Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the Phillies and Aaron Nola were nowhere near a potential extension. Nola was looking for an eight-year deal worth around $200 million, while the Phillies were in the four to five-year range. The Phillies might not feel comfortable going that high, but Nola is going to get an offer much better than Philadelphia's in free agency.
Nola being paid to be an ace elsewhere is the likely outcome here.