The Phillies (4-6) have not won a game started by Aaron Nola since Aug 20, 2019. That is almost a calendar year across nine starts.
If the Phils want to contend for a playoff spot this season, that trend needs to end Monday night when the final game of a four game series against the Atlanta Braves (11-6) gets underway at 6:05 ET.
The game will be aired on NBCSP/FS1 (TV) and WIP/WTTM1680 (radio).
Nola will look to build on his last start, where he held the New York Yankees to one run on three hits while striking out 12 across six innings. Overall, Nola is 0-2 on the season with a 3.97 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 19 strikeouts over 11 1/3 innings.
For his 18 career appearances against the Braves, the righty is 10-5 while sporting a dazzling 2.94 ERA, his best against any team in the National League East.
He will be opposed by LHP Sean Newcomb, who has been used both as a starter and reliever over the years. In 2020, Newcomb has started all three games he has appeared in and seems to have won a full-time spot in the Braves rotation. He is 0-1 across his three starts with an ugly 6.57 ERA in 12 1/3 innings pitched. He is also giving up over a hit per inning.
He has had success against the Phillies in his career, going 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA across four starts (11 total appearances).
Manager Joe Girardi has set the following lineup:
The big changes are DH Phil Gosselin leading off and LF Jay Bruce playing in the field against a lefty while every day LF Andrew McCutchen sits. There is no word at this time if McCutchen is injured, coming off his season-ending ACL tear last season, or if it just a maintenance day.
OF Roman Quinn continues to see a large chunk of time in the lineup over the left-handed Adam Haseley. Girardi seems to prefer Quinn's switch-hitting ability and speed at the bottom of the batting order over giving Haseley at-bats against a left-handed pitcher.
With the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets on the horizon and some winnable games in the future, salvaging a series split against the Braves would help gain momentum for the rest of the week.