Stellar Nola, Phils 'go after' Yankees in sweep

Philadelphia back over .500 mark for first time in nearly a month

June 13th, 2021

Entering the weekend with a chance to reclaim a .500 record for the first time since May 20, the Phillies received an impressive outing from starter on Sunday afternoon to sweep the two-game series against the Yankees.

Nola was efficient to start the game, needing just eight pitches -- all of which were strikes -- to get through the first inning. He went on to complete 7 2/3 shutout innings while allowing only three hits and one walk and striking out nine batters on 103 pitches in the Phillies’ 7-0 win at Citizens Bank Park.

The only Yankees hitters to reach base against Nola were DJ LeMahieu (who singled twice), Clint Frazier (who walked in the third inning) and Rougned Odor (who doubled in the sixth). Nola also consistently got ahead of hitters, throwing a first-pitch strike to 20 of the 26 batters he faced.

“I had better control and command of all my pitches today, I felt like,” Nola said. “I feel like against this team, you really have to just go after them. And that was kind of the game plan, just to get ahead. I feel like for the most part today, I was ahead of most of the hitters. Got behind a few of 'em. Better things happen when you're ahead in the count.”

Since throwing a complete-game shutout on April 18, Nola had completed seven innings just once ahead of his Sunday start. The 28-year-old righty has had a mix of quality starts and rough outings as his ERA rose from 2.06 following that shutout performance to a 4.06 mark coming into the series finale against the Bronx Bombers.

Phillies manager Joe Girardi said Nola’s showing on Sunday was more representative of the caliber of pitcher he can be.

“It's really rewarding for us for him to get back on track,” Girardi said. “That's the Aaron that we see all the time. I thought he used his offspeed tremendously today. I thought he used his fastball up in the zone tremendously today, and J.T. [Realmuto] and him executed a beautiful plan. Really good to see.”

Keeping the line moving
A day after putting together 14 hits and batting 8-for-19 with runners in scoring position, the Phillies continued to stay hot behind Nola’s scoreless performance. Philadelphia racked up 12 hits and went 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position on Sunday.

, one of three Phillies with two RBIs, said the club’s success in bringing runners home is due to ’s and ’s consistency at the top of the lineup.

Segura has slashed .339/.389/.475 this year and has posted a .424 average in 33 at-bats so far in June. Meanwhile, Herrera entered Sunday slashing 333/.370/.588 with 13 runs scored over his last 12 games as Philadelphia’s leadoff hitter; then he went 2-for-5 and scored another two times.

“That's what you want at the top of the order,” McCutchen said. “You want your guys on base. Odúbel has done a tremendous job filling in, being the leadoff guy that we need. Segura has been Segura. I joked with somebody today, I said, 'Segura is the Steph Curry of Major League Baseball.' Just as easy as Steph hits a three, it's just as easy as Seg gets hits.”

Phils above .500 ahead of West Coast road trip
The win put the Phillies (32-31) above .500 for the first time in 25 days. It also marked the third straight series win for Philadelphia this season.

Girardi said the series sweep is a momentum boost as the club begins a road trip out west against two of the best teams in the Majors: the Dodgers and the Giants.

“It just gives us a lot of confidence,” Girardi said. “You're going on a tough West Coast trip. Two teams that are playing extremely well. But there's confidence in that room, and in baseball confidence is important because there's so much failure.”

“At the end of the day, baseball is baseball,” added McCutchen. “ A team has to win. They got to throw a pitch and catch it, so it doesn't necessarily matter who we're facing. I mean, we just faced the Yankees and they're pretty good. That's the way we just treat it.”