Philadelphia Sports Day

Moeller: Phillies Need to Follow Nola and Arrieta’s Lead



After their split with the Red Sox, the Phillies reaffirmed their stance to the rest of major league baseball.

They need to be respected as a legitimate contender.

Aaron Nola and Jake Arrietta did as well and reminded Phillies’ fans of their potential in the postseason.

Baseball received another reminder that the Phillies are here to stay down the stretch. Even though they are young, they weren’t blitzed by Boston’s battering ram of an offense, and they aren’t going to wilt in the summer sun.

It’s also time to give Nola his due. He pitched a masterful game in Fenway, and he should have had another win if not for  Odubel Herrara’s gaffe in the outfield.

With all due respect to Jacob DeGrom, it is Nola who should be mentioned in the same breath as the Cy Young.

When you compare their numbers, each of them is very similar. Nola has logged more innings and has a lower opponent batting average allowed.

DeGrom does have the lower ERA (1.84), but Nola is on his heels (2.15). Still, the baseball world recognizes DeGrom as the hands-down winner.

It is Nola who has paced this club and is sure to pitch more meaningful games over the next months.




Arrieta, who has been the subject of criticism throughout the season, will need more performances like the one-run allowed against Boston, down the stretch.

He has pitched in his share of big games in his career, and he also will have some big outings down the stretch.

It sounds obvious, but when you think of Nola and Arrieta at their best in September and beyond, it could be scary.

The Phillies also made two good moves, picking up catcher Wilson Ramos and infielder Asdrubal Cabrera.

When he returns, Ramos can provide another power bat in the lineup as Jorge Alfaro has been inconsistent. Cabrera also has a power bat and his versatility will be put to good use.

Manager Gabe Kapler will need to shuffle Cabrera, Scott Kingery, Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco, and J.P. Crawford around when Crawford returns soon.

Kapler, too, has gained respect after many believed he was over his head the first month.

Now that the Phillies handled the Red Sox, they have to place a strangle hold on some of the weaker teams in baseball.

That starts with the Marlins this weekend in which they need to take at least three of the four games.

They will then hit the road for three-game sets in Arizona and San Diego.

The Phillies proved it to themselves that they can be players in October.

It’s time they win a few more hands.

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