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Phillies-Mets 5 things: Red-hot Aaron Nola duels ice-cold Steven Matz

August 12th, 2017 at 1:55 AM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Phillies (42-71) vs. Mets (52-61)
7:05 p.m. on NBC 10; streaming live on and the NBC Sports App

When it comes to facing the Mets, the Phillies can’t seem to catch a break. A 3-0 lead? Evaporated. A late comeback? Not enough. Even a rookie SS got in on it as the Mets grabbed a 7-6 win on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

If there’s a pitcher the Phils would want to face the rival Metropolitans, it’s Aaron Nola, who comes into Saturday hot as can be. He’ll take on Steven Matz in a matchup of two starters going opposite directions.

Here are five things to know for Saturday night’s game:

1. Nola continues to roll
We’re running out of words to properly describe Nola, who has had inarguably the best nine-game stretch of his career coming into tonight’s game. 

In 61 1/3 innings, he’s allowed just 47 hits and 17 walks, struck out 70 batters and given up just 12 runs, good for a 1.76 ERA. He’s held opponents to a .207/.262/.317 batting line while throwing filthy curveballs backed up with a devilish two-seamer. This is the Aaron Nola the Phillies thought they would get in the 2014 draft.

In those nine starts, he’s gone at least six innings every time while allowing no more than two runs. He had nine starts prior to this run (which began June 22 vs. the Cardinals) and he failed to reach those milestones in all but three games. 

For the season, Nola has brought his ERA down to 3.12. According to Baseball Reference, Nola has produced 3.6 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) this season after being worth 0.0 WAR last year. That’s right: He was at replacement level, no better than the average call-up from Triple A. Now he’s pitching like a front-end starter.

Nola won his only start vs. the Mets this year, lasting …

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Tags: Aaron Nola, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies vs. Mets, Rhys Hoskins, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes

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