Phillies

10 random Aaron Nola stats you won't believe

10 random Aaron Nola stats you won't believe

Another start, another dominating performance by Aaron Nola. Seems to happen a lot these days. 

Like every fifth day. 

His 78th career start and 18th start this year was typical Nola. Seven innings, one earned run, nine strikeouts, two walks and a win over the Orioles Wednesday afternoon (see story)

Which got us thinking. Just how well does Nola stack up at this point in his career with other great pitchers in Phillies history and major-league history? 

So with assistance from the baseball-reference database, we checked!

So here are 10 (or slightly more than 10) random Aaron Nola stats that you absolutely won’t believe! 

• Nola’s 489 career strikeouts are most in Phillies history by a pitcher after 78 games. The previous high was 484 by Cole Hamels. It’s also 15th-most in MLB history by a pitcher after 78 starts. And of the 14 ahead of him, only four had fewer walks (Stephen Strasburg, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber).

• Nola has already had 10 starts this year allowing four or fewer hits. That’s tied for the most in franchise history at this point in a season. Alexander had 10 such games 84 games into 1915.

•  Nola’s 26 career starts allowing four or fewer hits are most ever by a Phillie after 78 career starts. 

• Nola’s 14 starts allowing two or fewer runs so far this year are second-most by a Phillies starter 84 games into a season in the last 100 years. The only pitcher the last century with more such starts at this point in a season was John Denny, who had 15 in 1983 on his way to the Cy Young Award. 

• Nola’s 14 starts this year allowing two or fewer earned runs are fourth-most in baseball, and his 32 starts over the last two years allowing two or fewer earned runs are fifth-most in the majors.

• Nola’s 35 wins are second-most in Phillies history after 78 starts, behind only Alexander (42) and tied with Tom Seaton (35), and Cole Hamels (35).

• Nola has had 12 starts this year where he’s gone at least six innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs, fourth-most in baseball. Only Max Scherzer (15), Justin Verlander (13) and Blake Snell (13) have more. 

• Nola’s 43 career starts going six innings and allowing two or fewer runs are third-most ever by a Phillies pitcher in his first 78 career starts, behind two guys who pitched in the 1910s -- George McQuillan (54) and Alexander (47). 

• Of the 87 pitchers in baseball who’ve pitched at least 85 innings, only one — Trevor Bauer of the Indians — has allowed fewer home runs than Nola. Bauer has allowed five in 113 2/3 innings. Nola has allowed six in 116 innings.

• Nola’s start Wednesday was the 46th of his career with six or more strikeouts and two or fewer walks. That’s the most in MLB history by a pitcher after 78 career starts, tied with Noah Syndergaard.

• Nola’s 35 wins are tied for the most in Phillies history by a pitcher in his first 78 career games. Hamels also had 35 wins after 78 starts. 

• Nola’s 11 wins this year match the most by a Phillies pitcher 84 games into a season since Curt Schilling had 13 in 1999 – some 19 years ago. It’s the second-most wins by a Phillies pitcher this early in a season since 1980, when Steve Carlton had 15 on the way to 24 wins and the Cy Young Award.

• Nola’s 2.41 ERA is fifth-lowest by a Phillies starter at this point in a season (at least 75 innings pitched) in 50 years, behind Wayne Twitchell (2.08 in 1973), Carlton (2.14 in 1980), Denny (2.17 in 1983) and Roy Halladay (2.33 in 2010).

• Nola has started 18 games this year without allowing more than four earned runs. He’s the first Phillies starter to open a season with 18 straight games allowing four or fewer runs in 27 years. Two Phillies starters had longer streaks in 1991 - Tommy Green with 27 and Jose de Jesus with 20.

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Former Phillie Ben Lively shares his quarantine experience in South Korea

Former Phillie Ben Lively shares his quarantine experience in South Korea

This wasn't how Ben Lively envisioned his first full year in South Korea.

The former Phillie is now living in Daegu, where the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea began and quickly spread. After 14 days by himself looking at the same four walls, Lively is finally able to practice again today. 

"I'm just ready to get out of my apartment. It's been 14 days straight," Lively told NBC10's John Clark. "So far it's been ... now I know what to do when I'm bored by myself in an apartment for two weeks.

"We had spring training in Okinawa, Japan, then we actually got sent back to America for like a week and a half. We came back and the next day they followed the Korean law saying that all foreign travelers have to be quarantined 14 days just to go outside. 

"If you got caught outside, there was a chance you could be deported. Wouldn't be good."

Tuesday was Lively's last day under quarantine. He was given a COVID-19 test the second day he was back in South Korea (March 26) and was re-tested this week. He says all of his teammates foreign to Korea tested negative.

Lively's Korean teammates have not been tested, per his knowledge. "I think the only time they test a person that has been here is when they have symptoms," he said.

South Korea has seemingly done a better job of containing coronavirus than any country in the world. As of April 8, the country has seen 10,384 reported cases and 200 total deaths. The number of new cases per day has ranged between 47 and 152 since March 12, according to Worldometer.

Opening day for the Korea Baseball Organization was supposed to be March 28, two days after MLB's opening day. Instead, the KBO is just opening practices back up to its foreign players and hopes to open its season by early May.

"The facilities we have at our field, there's going to be no pedestrians or fans, and they clean it every day," Lively said. "You don't necessarily have to wear a mask there, it's just going to be our team, small group of people. When you're going around though you've definitely got to wear a mask."

On Tuesday, an ESPN report outlined an ambitious potential plan by MLB to play regular-season games in empty stadiums in Arizona by late-May or early-June. The commissioner's office released a statement later in the day saying that numerous options are under consideration.

In South Korea, teams still plan to travel as of now.

"We don't have anything like that here. We're gonna travel, go city to city," Lively said. "It's definitely slowing down here, there's barely any new cases here now. They have it on pretty good lockdown over here. We still have no idea what the plan is after the games, whether we go back to the hotel or keep traveling back and forth."

Lively is eager to compete and carve out his role. He spent three seasons in the majors, pitching 112⅓ of his 120 innings with the Phillies. He made 15 starts for the 2017 Phils and went 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA.

The Phillies acquired him on New Year's Eve 2015 from the Reds for Marlon Byrd. In Lively's first year in the Phillies' system, he went 18-5 with a 2.69 ERA, splitting time between Double A and Triple A. He was let go by the Phillies late in the 2018 season and went to the Royals and Diamondbacks before his release in Arizona last August.

In Korea, Lively is teammates with former Phillie David Buchanan, who pitched here in 2014 and 2015. Buchanan lives a building over from Lively.

"Buchanan had a plan for his wife and kid to come over here the first week we started," Lively said. "I can see how tough it is on him. ... I tell everyone it still feels like a movie, can't really grasp what's going on still."

The rest of the baseball world is watching Korea to see how the KBO fares in its attempt to bring baseball back by May.

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Phillies' Andrew McCutchen's relatable facemask story is amazing, and helpful

Phillies' Andrew McCutchen's relatable facemask story is amazing, and helpful

We say it often, but right now pro athletes really are just like us: learning how to deal with social distancing strategies and facemask recommendations.

Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen is working on getting healthy in case the Major League Baseball season begins this spring, but he also needs to hit the store now and then for everyday supplies. 

After Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf advised all Pennsylvania residents to wear facemasks in public to fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, McCutchen threw together a "bootleg" facemask to protect himself and those around him, but he was feeling a little... embarrassed by how DIY the mask was.

That is, until he saw what everyone else was wearing:

Between the acting, the wardrobe changes, and the sound effects, that's some Oscar-worthy work from McCutchen. 

(Will he start challenging Matisse Thybulle for the title of Content King?)

Outside of giving us a laugh, McCutchen also makes a good point and sends an important message: We're all dealing with this different world as one team.

While you might think putting on a facemask looks funny, or is a little uncomfortable, you're certainly not alone - even baseball stars are dealing with it - so let's tackle this, together.

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