Aaron Nola Returns to the Mound as Phillies Wrap Up Series Against Mets

All good things must come to an end. The Phillies dropped their first game of the season in a loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

Chase Anderson did a decent enough job for a fifth starter. In five innings, he only allowed two runs and struck out three. Vince Velasquez then came in and started off hot. Vinny Velo struck out the side in 1-2-3 fashion to kick off his 2021 season. However, he quickly fell back to reality and gave Phillies’ fans the full VV experience– four strikeouts and no hits allowed, but four earned runs and four walks.

The Phillies will look to get back on track Wednesday afternoon with their ace on the mound. Aaron Nola will toss the first pitch at 4:05 against sophomore David Peterson. Coverage for the conclusion of the series can be found on NBC Sports Philadelphia at 3:30. Philadelphia is -140 money line favorites with the over/under set at eight runs.

Probable Pitchers

Phillies

Aaron Nola

The Phillies kicked off the season by putting Nola on the mound. He was absolutely dominant through six full innings— putting Braves’ batters down left and right. His sole blemish came at the very end of his day, however, and was costly.

Nola allowed Pablo Sandoval to crack a two-run shot to the second deck of right field to tie the game in the seventh inning. This would force him out of the game after 6.2 innings, where he only allowed those two runs and accumulated six strikeouts.

For his career, Nola has controlled the New York Mets for the most part. In 16 starts, he’s earned an 8-2 record with a 3.30 ERA. Nola “slacked” against New York in 2020, allowing eight earned runs in three starts. In 2020, he also walked nine total batters and allowed three homers, also picking up 25 total strikeouts. Prior to 2020, though, Nola went three straight seasons without a loss to New York. Between 2017-2019, the right-hander kept his ERA to 2.58 against New York en route to his 7-0 record in 12 starts.

Mets

David Peterson

David Peterson takes the mound for his first start of the season Wednesday night. Last season, Peterson had a really solid rookie campaign. In ten appearances, Peterson worked his way to a 3.44 ERA and 40 total strikeouts in 49.2 innings pitched.

Against the Phillies specifically, Peterson struggled mightily. He made one start against Philadelphia, but only lasted two innings. The Phillies rocked him for five runs on three hits and four walks, including a home run. He faced 14 batters in his two innings pitched, where the Phillies clearly had his number as they got his pitch count up to 70 before his departure.

Now that Peterson is refreshed and recharged, things may change for the sophomore left-hander. That was the first rough outing of his career, doing very well both before and after that game against Philly. In the very small sample size we have, the Phillies have done worse against lefties compared to righties (.233 batting average vs. .268). Peterson has a good chance to get back on track tonight.

Player to Watch

Phillies’ First Baseman Rhys Hoskins

To start the season, Rhys Hoskins has performed very well. In the field, he’s shown that he can be a consistent option at first base. More importantly for the Phillies, though, Hoskins bat has been doing even better.

The 28-year-old got the night off in terms of a start Tuesday night. When manager Joe Girardi saw the chance to use Hoskins as a pinch hitter though, he seized his chance. This move paid off, as the first basement hit a deep single off the left-field wall to score Adam Haseley and make it a 6-2 game. Later, in the bottom of the ninth, Hoskins scored Haseley again after a squib double. After accumulating two hits in a game he didn’t even start in, Hoskins boosted his average to .368 on the young season.

One of the bigger reasons Rhys is the player to watch is due to the success he had in his lone game against Peterson. Hoskins took Peterson deep last season for a two-run home run on September 7. For his career, Hoskins also has 13 homers against the Mets, which is tied for second-most against a single team when looking at his personal stats.

The Phillies’ bats have been off to a somewhat slow start for their standards, and this could change with Hoskins and an ice-cold Bryce Harper to close this series.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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