Nola follows Hamels with first career victory
Rookie tosses 7 2/3 sharp innings a day after Phillies' ace's no-hitter
CHICAGO -- Cole Hamels got a bottle of Dom Perignon as a gift for pitching Saturday's no-hitter against the Cubs.
Aaron Nola got Sunday's game ball.
Nola earned his first big league win in an 11-5 victory at Wrigley Field, which completed the Phillies' first series sweep on the road since July 7-10, 2014, in Milwaukee. Nola allowed five hits, four runs and two walks, and he struck out six in 7 2/3 innings. He also singled to score a run in the fourth inning for his first career RBI.
"It's hard to follow up," Nola said about pitching less than 24 hours after Hamels' dramatic no-hitter. "I was just going out there and my mindset was just get outs, get as many outs as I can, as many ground balls and popups as I can.
"It was amazing to watch yesterday. My palms were sweating on the bench in the ninth. Once he got it, it was awesome. To be a part of it my first week up here is pretty amazing."
Really, what a week for Nola. He was promoted to the big leagues early last week, and he allowed one run in six innings in his debut Tuesday against the Rays at Citizens Bank Park. He watched Hamels throw the 13th no-hitter in franchise history in possibly his final start for the Phillies.
And then Nola pitched well against the Cubs.
Pretty surreal, huh?
"Absolutely," Nola said. "I'm just soaking as much as I can in. Being a part of all this is pretty amazing."
Nola allowed just two runs and threw just 74 pitches through seven innings before he surrendered a two-run home run to Addison Russell in the eighth. But for those first seven frames, he made quick work of a team challenging for a postseason berth.
"I was just getting ahead of guys, just keeping the ball down," Nola said. "I was getting early ground balls and early popups, which definitely helps. It speeds the game up and keeps everybody in a rhythm. But I missed some balls over the plate and they hit them."
"Nola made it look easy," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "Boy, was he painting."
The Phils hope that continues. They certainly will need Nola if they trade Hamels before the end of the week.
"It's fun to watch and learn from him," Nola said.
Maybe one day, Nola will pitch a no-hitter and get a bottle of Dom for himself.
"I'll stick with some water," Nola said.