Phillies’ Nola goes for 11th win against Orioles
Aaron Nola will get to pitch in front of his home fans in Philadelphia a final time Wednesday before he likely gets the chance to pitch in the All-Star Game later this month.
Nola will be on the mound as the Phillies close out a brief, two-game set with the Baltimore Orioles at Citizens Bank Park. The game, which is Philadelphia’s final home contest before the All-Star break, will start at 4:05 p.m. on the holiday.
Nola (10-2, 2.48 ERA) has been dominant all season for the Phillies, but he has been especially good at home. The 25-year-old is 7-0 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.911 WHIP in eight starts at Citizens Bank Park this season.
Nola, who has never pitched against Baltimore, has not surrendered more than three earned runs in any of those home starts. Last Thursday, he gave up one run on five hits and two walks and struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings against the Washington Nationals. Nola got the win in the Phillies’ 4-3 victory.
“I actually thought he got stronger as he inched towards the end of the game,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told MLB.com regarding Nola. “Even there in the last inning, somewhere around that 105-pitch mark, it almost seemed like he was getting sharper.”
The Phillies are 29-16 at home after Tuesday night’s 3-2 win against the Orioles. Philadelphia has more home wins than any team in the National League, but after Wednesday the club won’t play at Citizens Bank Park again until July 20.
The Phillies will try to get their 30th home win of the season against Orioles rookie Yefry Ramirez.
A right-hander, Ramirez (0-1, 2.89) will be making just the second start of his major league career. The 24-year-old went 4 1/3 innings against the Boston Red Sox on June 13, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out six in his first start.
Ramirez threw five scoreless innings of relief against the Seattle Mariners last Thursday in his only other big league appearance. He had a 3.88 ERA and averaged 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings in 14 starts with Triple-A Norfolk this season.
“I don’t want to broadcast it for the other team, but the changeup,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter told the Baltimore Sun when speaking about Ramirez’s strong points. “Hitters are so much more in swing mode, so to speak, up here. It’s because they’re good hitters. That’s why they’re in the big leagues. … He’s having a good year down there.”
The Orioles have lost eight of their last nine games and are 0-2 against the Phillies this season. At 24-60 they have the worst record in baseball. Baltimore did not lose its 60th game of the 2017 season until Aug. 13.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, has won three games in a row and five of its last six. At 46-37, the Phillies have a chance to go 10 games over .500 for the first time this season with another win.
Wednesday marks the third straight season the Phillies have played a home game on the Fourth of July. They lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates on the holiday last year.