The Phillies finally got over the .500 mark on Tuesday night.
And they did it in style, riding the brilliance of Aaron Nola to a 6-0 win over the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies are 16-15 with 29 games left in the 60-game sprint. They are tied with Miami for second place in the NL East, three games behind Atlanta.
Remember Bryce Harper declaring that the Phillies needed to win nine of 10 games in order to turn their season around back on Aug. 22?
Well, the Phillies have won seven of eight since then.
Rookie Alec Bohm gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the fifth inning. He drove in another run with a double in the sixth. Andrew McCutchen followed with a three-run homer.
That was more than enough for Nola, who is 4-2 with a 2.45 ERA.
The Phillies are 4-0 against Washington this season. The Nationals look like they need a couple of aspirin and a big glass of water to help with their World Series hangover. They are 12-21.
The right-hander was outstanding in his longest outing of the season. He went eight innings and allowed just two hits. He walked three and struck out nine. Nola threw 113 pitches and got a whopping 20 swings and misses. A dozen of those whiffs came on his curveball, which was outstanding.
Nola has beaten the Nationals in two straight starts.
The kid is all right
Washington starter Patrick Corbin was tough in the early innings. The Phillies had runners on second and third with one out in the third and he struck out the Phillies' top two offensive weapons in Harper and J.T. Realmuto, both on sharp sliders.
Corbin, who has one of the best sliders in the game, went back to that pitch against Bohm with a 1-1 count leading off the bottom of the fifth. Bohm promptly deposited it into the left-field seats to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. It was his second big-league homer.
Before the inning ended, the Phillies increased their lead to 2-0 on a single by Rhys Hoskins, a walk to Harper and an RBI single by Realmuto.
The kid is all right (Part 2)
After getting two runs in the bottom of the fifth, Nola put up a shutdown inning in the top of the sixth. He actually walked Juan Soto with one out then got out of the inning on a 5-4-3 double play, nicely started by Bohm.
Live by the longball
The Phillies have homered at least once in nine straight games. They have won seven of those games.
The Phils are averaging 5.61 runs per game. That ranks third in the majors.
Harper stole second base in the first inning. He has stolen 16 straight bases without being caught since July 4, 2019. The last Phillie with a longer streak was Chase Utley, who swiped 21 in a row in 2010-2011.
Good pitching matchup in the Game 3 of the four-game series Wednesday night. Zack Wheeler (3-0, 2.58) faces Max Scherzer (3-1, 3.86).