Aaron Nola is back on the hill for the Phillies Tuesday night in an attempt to get back on track after a pair of uncharacteristic outings.
In his first start, Nola was a victim of a tight strike zone and walked a career-high five batters, though he was able to maneuver his way around the free passes to allow just one run over six innings.
Last Thursday in D.C., Nola allowed a career-high three home runs to the Nationals in his worst start since September 2017.
A great pitching matchup is on tap tonight with Nola (1-0, 7.00) opposing Stephen Strasburg (1-0, 2.84).
2 close wins
The Phillies' victories Sunday and Monday were almost more impressive than their first-week offensive breakouts. You know that this Phillies team will bash the ball around the yard and hit home runs, but the big question was whether they could protect close leads.
In consecutive games, the Phils have won by one run. In consecutive games, they've thrown a runner out at the plate and not walked anyone. It's the first time since July 2016 that Phillies pitchers have gone two straight games without issuing a free pass.
Good teams win games like Sunday against the Twins and Monday against the Nationals.
Last season, the Phillies went 32-69 when scoring four or fewer runs. So far this season, they’re 2-1.
It looks like David Robertson has corrected himself, which would be a major boost to the Phils' bullpen.
Hoskins' power binges
Rhys Hoskins' power really does come in bunches. He has four homers and nine RBI over his last four games, and get this: Of his last 31 home runs, 19 have occurred in back-to-back games.
When the guy gets his timing down, he is fun to watch. The only National Leaguer with more RBI than Hoskins' 15 is Cody Bellinger.
On Monday, he adjusted midgame after a poor first at-bat against Anibal Sanchez in which he swung through two pitches in the low-inside part of the zone.
He is not missing many mistake pitches right now, and Hoskins' solid approach has led to consistent power. He is mostly wrists and lower-body, as opposed to the herky-jerky power of Bryce Harper.
Gotta go to Mo
Adam Morgan continues to quietly thrive. He has faced 17 batters this season and just two have reached base.
His slider has turned into a real weapon. He's allowed just one extra-base hit on a slider the last 383 times he's thrown it, and this season batters have whiffed or made an out on 12 of the 18 sliders they've swung at.
Morgan pitched a clean seventh inning Monday and seems to be climbing the list of relievers Gabe Kapler is confident in.
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