PHILS INSIDER

Nola makes history, but Phils suffer another unfathomable and demoralizing loss

PHILS INSIDER
Nola

Aaron Nola did his job. 

The rest of the Phillies? 

Not so much.

The Phillies added to their long list of unfathomable and demoralizing losses when they were beaten, 2-1, by the New York Mets in the first game of a doubleheader at Citi Field on Friday. 

Nola tied a major-league record with 10 consecutive strikeouts and drove in the Phillies’ only run. He was in line for one of the sweetest wins of his career until newly installed closer Jose Alvarado blew the save in the bottom of the seventh inning. 

Alvarado committed a throwing error with no outs then moments later allowed a game-tying, two-out hit to Francisco Lindor.

 

On the error, Alvarado sailed a throw over first baseman Rhys Hoskins’ head. Hoskins might have been able to make a play on the high throw but he appeared to lose it in the setting sun. His sunglasses were perched on top of his head. 

By rule, doubleheaders are seven-inning games and extra innings begin with a runner on second. 

J.T. Realmuto and Andrew McCutchen both took called third strikes in the top of the eighth. 

The Mets won it on a no-out base hit by Dominic Smith against Ranger Suarez in the bottom of the eighth. 

The loss dropped the Phillies to 34-38 and six games behind the first-place Mets in the NL East.

The Phils will send Matt Moore to the mound in the second game.

The loss stung even beyond the standings.

Nola tied Hall of Famer Tom Seaver’s 51-year-old major-league record with 10 straight strikeouts on his way to 12 for the day and came away with a no-decision.

"Tough one," Nola said. "It's pretty cool being in a category with Tom, but winning is cooler, in my opinion."

Nola’s big day extended to the batter’s box. The Phillies had just three hits in the game and Nola had two of them, including a double with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning that drove home Nick Maton with the Phils' only run.

 

Maton, called up from Triple A earlier in the day, drew a two-out walk against Mets’ starter Taijuan Walker before Nola’s double to right-center. 

With his pitch count climbing, Nola hit a wall in the bottom of the sixth inning. He hit a batter with no outs and walked another with one out. That prompted manager Joe Girardi to remove Nola at 99 pitches and go to new closer Alvarado. 

Alvarado made things interesting by walking the first batter he faced to load the bases. He then got a strikeout and a ground ball to get out of the inning and preserve the 1-0 lead. 

Alvarado threw away the save in the seventh when he gave up the two-out hit to Lindor. Girardi opted to have Alvarado face Lindor instead of issuing an intentional walk and pitching to lefty-hitting Michael Conforto. Lindor made the Phillies pay.

Girardi named Alvarado the new closer earlier in the day. He replaced Hector Neris, who blew his third save in his last five appearances on Wednesday.

Nola hit the first batter he faced in the game, Jeff McNeil, with a pitch then allowed a double to Lindor to put runners on second and third. The right-hander then struck out 10 in a row, four on curveballs, three on sinkers, two on changeups and one on a four-seam fastball.

 

The 10 straight Ks matched Seaver’s record, set on April 22, 1970 while pitching for the Mets. 

Seaver’s retired No. 41 adorns the wall at Citi Field and the ballpark address is 41 Tom Seaver Way.

Nola lost his bid for a new record when Pete Alonso doubled on a 2-1 pitch with one out in the fourth.

Nola’s 10 straight Ks is a new Phillies record. Steve Carlton, Curt Schilling and Jerad Eickhoff shared the old record with seven straight strikeouts.