Aaron Nola, Phillies out to halt Braves’ 7-game win streak

Aaron Nola, Phillies out to halt Braves' 7-game win streak


Despite a rainout on Wednesday, the visiting Atlanta Braves will look to stay hot when they battle the Philadelphia Phillies in the series finale on Thursday afternoon

After the scheduled Wednesday game was postponed following about a 2 1/2-hour delay, the Braves will aim for their eighth consecutive victory

The Braves and Phillies will make up the rained-out game as part of a day-night doubleheader on Sept. 11

Atlanta rookie AJ Smith-Shawver was scheduled to start the Wednesday game, one outing after he gave up six hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Colorado Rockies for his first major league win.

Following the postponement, the Braves announced that Bryce Elder (5-1, 2.60 ERA) would start on Thursday, with Smith-Shawver pushed back to start on Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Cincinnati

Elder, who limited the Rockies to one run in six innings in a 10-2 victory on Saturday, has never faced the Phillies

Matt Olson and Austin Riley each blasted a long solo home run for the Braves in a 4-2 win on Tuesday. Philadelphia had won six in a row before that setback

Olson has eight homers in 51 career at-bats at Citizens Bank Park. Riley, who also has enjoyed success in Philadelphia, hit his first home run since June 8.

“When we come to the yard, whether it’s at home or here, it’s a playoff atmosphere,” Riley said on a postgame interview on Bally Sports. “I don’t know if it’s a focus level, but I like playing here.”

Olson added, “Everybody in here understands the team we are. It feels like we’re taking the next step to reaching our potential.”

Braves catcher Sean Murphy hasn’t played since Saturday due to a strained hamstring, though he appears to be getting closer

“No promises on any day (to return),” Murphy said, “but the way we’re progressing, hopefully I feel good enough soon.”

The Phillies will look to rebound and split the shortened series

Aaron Nola (6-5, 4.66 ERA), Wednesday’s scheduled starter, will take the mound on Thursday. Taijuan Walker was bumped back to Friday, when he will oppose the visiting New York Mets.

In his latest start, Nola allowed four runs on six hits and one walk while striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings during a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 15.

“It just happens as the year goes on, you get more reps and start finding new things,” Nola said.

Nola has started 31 games against the Braves, going 15-10 with a 3.51 ERA. He has faced Atlanta more than any other team

In the Tuesday loss, the Phillies managed 11 hits — three by Brandon Marsh — but they finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left eight on base

“We had our chances,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We had some hits — just couldn’t come through.

After struggling on the team’s seven-game road trip, Marsh came through with some solid swings.

“He’s starting to be a little more aggressive at the plate in the strike zone,” Thomson said. “That’s what we want him to do.”

Bryce Harper added two hits, but he has only three home runs in 156 at-bats since returning from offseason Tommy John surgery.

“I feel good,” Harper said. “The power numbers aren’t there, but I feel strong. I feel good.”

Harper has played exclusively as a designated hitter since returning, but he might receive some starts at first base after the All-Star break — or possibly sooner.

“He’s made me a liar so many times because he’s such a quick healer,” Thomson said. “I don’t know.”

–Field Level Media


Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.