Like clockwork, the Nats take on the Phillies best pitcher Aaron Nola in the 1st game of the Phillies series. With Cole Hamels traded, it’s Nola who is considered the Phillies best pitcher and the Nats are a magnet for facing the other teams #1. The Phillies will face Jordan Zimmermann who is coming off another good start.
Nola was the 7th overall pick in the 1st round of the 2014 Draft. This will be Nola’s 11th career start and he has a 3.56 ERA but his starts are either very good or not so good. Nola has 2 shutous and 2 starts giving up 1 run and 1 start giving up 2 runs. Of course his worst start was against the Mets giving up 6 runs.
Nola throws almost an equal number of 4-seamers and sinkers with 90-91 velo but it’s movement and hitting his spots that will make him effective. He works in a slow curve and the occasional change-up at 82. He likes to come inside on batters and as a sinkerballer likes to live low in the zone often tempting hitters to swing at balls below the knees.
Keep in mind the Nats have never faced Nola before and we have no Nats at-bat stats against him. The good news is that Jonathan Papelbon can give the Nats some intel on Nola.
Lineups are similar to yesterday with no RZim but with CRob at 1st base.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 14, 2015