Aaron Nola will look to rebound from one of the worst performances of his career when the visiting Philadelphia Phillies battle the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
Nola, the ace of the Phillies pitching staff, lasted only 2 2/3 innings in his last start on the road against the Atlanta Braves on Friday. He gave up six hits and four runs and lacked command throughout.
Nola still enters his sixth start with a 2-2 mark and a 3.10 ERA as the Phillies search for their third consecutive victory.
“Pretty bad all around all night,” Nola said after the start at Atlanta. “I didn’t get out of the third inning, which obviously stinks. I don’t think it’s ever happened. But I learn from it and get back to work. I didn’t feel horrible.
“I didn’t feel bad. I was just missing a little bit with my fastball and I was getting behind.”
Nola has a 4-6 record and a 4.22 ERA in 19 career starts against the Nationals.
Despite the rough outing against the Braves, Nola has been quite efficient this season as the Phillies’ No. 1 starter. Manager Joe Girardi said that he won’t be fazed by one bad start.
“It just happens,” Girardi said. “It happens to the greatest pitchers of all time. Sometimes they don’t have their command or they don’t have their stuff that day. He just struggled for whatever reason. I would expect that he would bounce back the next time.”
The Phillies’ offense produced 12 hits in a series-opening, 8-3 win over the Nationals on Tuesday. J.T. Realmuto hit a three-run homer, and Jean Segura had three hits and a pair of RBIs.
The Nationals will try to avoid a third straight loss when they hand the ball to Patrick Corbin.
Corbin (2-2, 3.99 ERA) was ultra-successful against the Phillies last season with a 2-0 record and a 2.88 ERA in four starts.
In nine career starts vs. the Phillies, Corbin is 5-2 with a 3.18 ERA.
Corbin’s last start was impressive: 6 1/3 innings with a season-best nine strikeouts on Friday against the Miami Marlins. He allowed eight hits and three runs.
“I felt pretty good,” Corbin said. “That pitch that was a homer (by Miguel Rojas) was a heater, just fell behind 2-0 and I was right down the middle, so just a mistake there. I felt that I was in the zone better. I felt under control. Two-seamer was working well, slider was there, threw some breaking balls as well.”
Nationals manager Dave Martinez was very encouraged following Corbin’s latest start.
“It was awesome. He had really good stuff,” Martinez said. “He made one bad mistake and cost him three runs, but other than that, he was really, really good. That was great to see.”
Corbin added, “I think it’s each time out there gradually it’s getting better and better. Still maybe not exactly where I need to be, but feel pretty good.”
Trea Turner hit a leadoff home run for the 11th time in his career in Tuesday’s loss. Adam Eaton also homered, but the Nationals went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position while leaving five runners on base.
–Field Level Media