The Phillies first round pick and number 7 overall, Aaron Nola, made his home debut against the Dunedin Blue Jays Tuesday night. The crowd of 3,394 was treated to a pitchers’ duel in a game the Threshers’ lost 1-0.
Nola made his FSL debut last Monday in Lakeland. He was on a 50 pitch limit that night. He started Tuesday on an unknown pitch limit, but a 5-inning limit.
Nola features a fastball, change, and a curve. He velo was reported to have hit 94 last week. But, his reputation was built on his ability to pitch not on his fastball. Last night, his fastball was at 91, his curve at 77. His curve had a hard break on it and gave the Jays’ batters problems.
Nola pitched 4 innings and threw 48 pitches. He had a strike/ball ratio of 34/14. Most of the 14 balls were around the plate. He was incredibly accurate. He struck out 2 batters and walked none. He ran only 3 counts of more than 1 ball – a 3-2 count that resulted in a foul ball then a fly to left, a 2-0 count that ended as a fly ball to center, and a 2-2 count that became his second strike out on a nasty curve that the batter took for strike three.
Nola pitched very efficiently and consistently through his 4 innings, allowing only one base runner on a ground ball through the 5.5 hole just out of Crawford’s reach.
First inning – 12 pitches, 8 strikes, 1 K
- Second inning – 13 pitches, 9 strikes, 1 K, 1 single
- Third inning – 10 pitches, 8 strikes
- Fourth inning – 13 pitches, 9 strikes, 1 K
Nola pitched in front of most batters. He threw 10 of 13 first pitch strikes.
None of the Jays batters made hard contact.
- Five fly balls made it to the outfield, but the fielders took steps in to make the catches.
- One pop up that Nola was going to field himself until called off.
- And, 3 ground balls in the infield. He showed his defensive ability, when he continued to first to complete a rare 4-1 put out (The ball was in the hole and the first baseman was unable to get to it, but the second baseman was able to cut it off and find Nola at first ahead of the batter.)
Kevin Walter pitched 3 innings. He had a 1-2-3 5th inning, but pitched himself in and out of trouble after retiring the first 2 batters in the 6th inning. He gave up a meaningless 2-out single in the 7th inning.
Ramon Oviedo took the loss when he gave up a lead off single in the 8th inning. After a sacrifice bunt and a pop up he was on the verge of escaping the inning when he gave up a run-scoring double. After a wild pitch and a walk, he completed the inning with no further damage.
Dan Child pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning that included 2 strike outs.
- Roman Quinn beat out a single to short (no throw), but struck out 3 times and was caught stealing.
- JP Crawford went 0-4 with a strike out.
- Evert Williams had a single and a stolen base in 4 at bats.
- Brandon Short struck out twice in 4 at bats.
- Art Charles was 1-3 with a strike out
- Harold Martinez was 2-3, but his second single was an inning ender when Charles was hit by the ball and ruled out for interference.
- Anthony Phillips in his first game since his return from Reading went 1-3.
There was one defensive gem. Williams retreated to the wall in left and made a leaping catch to bring back a potential 2-run home run to end the 7th inning and preserve a 0-0 tie.