The Philadelphia Phillies released their pent-up offense early against Atlanta Braves starter Matt Wisler (4-10. 4.92 ERA) as before there was even one out, they put up four runs on a three run rainbow to LF, by Maikel Franco (19) and a solo shot to CF by Tommy Joseph (14). Then after a single by Aaron Altherr, just brought up as Peter Bourjos went on the DL, Carlos Ruiz worked a walk. After the first out by Freddy Galvis, Cody Asche reached on a FC/E which allowed Altherr to score, making it 5-0 Phillies. The big inning ended though, on a bad bunt attempt by starter, Aaron Nola (5-9, 4.75), and an even worse base-running play by Ruiz to get doubled off second. This gave Nola some wiggle room. It was not easy – loading the bases with two outs – but Nola got Ender Inciarte looking, to end the threat, for the SDI.
While both pitchers kept putting up zeros, Nola kept living on the edge with at least one batter reaching each inning, mostly with one or two outs, but managed to work out of each jam as the pitch count rose.
The Phillies broke that scoreless run in the fifth, as Altherr(1) continued his auspicious 2016 debut by scoring Joseph who had singled, on a long drive to LF, his second hit of the night, to make it 7-0 Phillies. Nola gave three of those runs back the next half inning, but managed to get through five, still with a four run lead to give himself a good chance for the win, on a night he did not have his best stuff. For a change on this night his offense helped him out.
His line wound up at those 5 In, 8H, 3R, all earned, 5K, 3BB, 1HBP, 95 Pitches – 61 for strikes. Fortunately for Nola, Wisler’s final stats were worse 5In, 7R, 6 earned, 3K, 2BB, 85 Pitches – 54 for strikes.
The pen worked hard against a still battling Braves team, despite their last place record, giving up two runs, to nail down the W for Nola (6-9, 4.78), and the L for Wisler (4-11, 5.16). Edubray Ramos (6) and Hector Neris (19) each got an H, and Jeanmar Gomez (27) earned the S.
First Steps: In the time of the season for changes by teams, Altherr had a great first night of the season with 3H, 2RBIs, 2R, in 4AB. Taylor Featherston got his 1st hit as a Phillie pinch hitting for Nola in the 6th.
Next Ups: RHP Tyrell Jenkins (0-2, 6.17) takes the hill for the Braves facing the Phillies, RHP Vince Velasquez (8-2, 3.34) in possibly his last start as a Phillie, tomorrow @ 7:35. Our Ali Van Norden will wrap up this series for you on Sunday.