Monday, July 18, 2016
Marlins at Phillies II
It's all about the young right-hander from Baton Rouge.
We've gone over how Aaron Nola got rocked in his recent outings. Tonight we'll see if two weeks of rest help.
He should have three goals for tonight.
1- Get past the fifth frame. He did it on July 2 and it was the first time since June 5 that he'd made it into the fourth. Actually, Nola didn't give up any runs in his last three innings of work.
2 - Get more strikes. He's always a strike-thrower. Even during his struggles, he tossed 63 percent of his pitches for strikes. But there is a fine line between solid work and getting your ears blown off. Nola should hope to get 66 percent or higher of his pitches for strikes.
3 - Get out of a jam. Nola has looked goood from the wind-up. He's gotta prove to himself that he can get out of trouble from the stretch position.
Monday, July 18: 7:05
Tuesday, July 19: 7:05
Wednesday, July 20: 7:05
Thursday, July 21: 7:05
Jose Fernandez (11-4, 2.52) vs Aaron Nola (5-8, 4.69)
TBD vs Vincent Velasquez (8-2, 3.32)
Wei-Yin Chen (5-3, 4.90) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (6-7, 4.03)
Tom Koehler (6-8, 4.68) vs. Jerad Eickhoff (6-10, 3.76)
What we know about the Marlins
The Fish are tied with the Mets for second in the National League East, owners of a tidy 49-42 record. Their offense can be beastly. They lead the league in hits and batting average. They're sixth in on-base percentage. However, Justin Bour is on the DL and Dee Gordon got nailed for PEDs, so the lineup has taken a hit recently. Still, Martin Pardo, Christian Yelich, Derek Dietrich and Marcel Ozuna each have batting averages above .295 and on-base marks above .356. Then there's Giancarlo Stanton to worry about. J.T. Realmuto also has a .314/.345/.420 slash line.
The Phils could sneak a few games out of this series, though.
It's not the best match-up, but it's the most intriguing. Jose Fernandez is one of the best in the division, so he's always fun to watch. Aaron Nola has the potential to be one of the best pitchers in the division in years to come. But can he bounce back from his struggles?
What we can't wait to see
Jeremy Hellickson is one of the better pitchers available on the trade market. Remember when Cole Hamels tossed that no-hitter right before he got traded? No one expects that from Hellickson. But going deep into Wednesday's game and not giving up three runs would be a good news for the Phillies.