Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola continued to be the up-and-coming ace the club has relied on this season, as he earned his 11th win following a 4-1 series finale victory over the MLB-worst Baltimore Orioles Wednesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The club's fourth consecutive win pushed them to 10 games over .500 for the first time since September 2011.
Nola yielded just one run through seven innings on seven hits, two walks, nine strikeouts, 103 pitches and 74 strikes. The right-hander recorded first-pitch strikes against 25 of his 30 batters faced, and of the 74 strikes overall, 23 were called and 16 were swinging.
With the victory, Nola entered a tie with Chicago Cubs southpaw Jon Lester for the National League lead in wins. Only the New York Yankees' Luis Severino (13) and the Cleveland Indians' Corey Kluber (12) have more wins. Nola's 2.41 ERA also ranks fifth-best among qualified National League starters.
While Nola has struggled in nine starts on the road this season — going 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.113 WHIP and 44-20 strikeout-to-walk ratio — the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native has excelled through nine home appearances — going 8-0 with a 1.71 ERA, 0.952 WHIP and 53-22 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Nola's Wednesday victory allowed him to join Tommy Greene (9-0, 1993) as the only Phillies pitchers to go 8-0 or better at home prior to the Midsummer Classic.
Nola is 20-8 with a 2.70 ERA in 36 starts since June 22, 2017. Nola is clearly All-Star and potentially Cy Young Award worthy. Whether other Phillies teammates join him down in the nation's capital for the All-Star Game later this month remains to be seen.