ABOVE PHOTO: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola wipes his face after pitching during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
In the Battle of the Bullpens, the Los Angeles Dodgers pen came out on top.
By Chris Murray
For the Philadelphia Sunday SUN
For the first three and one-third innings, the fans at Citizens Bank Park that witnessed Tuesday’s game between the Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers were treated to the kind of pitcher’s duel that you might see during the postseason.
Phillies starter Aaron Nola had seven strikeouts and had allowed just one hit in four innings against a stacked Dodgers lineup. Meanwhile, newly acquired Dodgers starter Max Scherzer, had six strikeouts while allowing just three hits.
But thanks to a one hour and 44-minute rain delay, both Nola and Scherzer saw their nights end early and the game turned over to both bullpens.
“I felt pretty good tonight,” Nola said. “I felt like I was on top of them tonight. My two-strike pitch was working pretty well tonight. But it was obviously shorter than I would want to. … I was ready to go back out, but the two-hour mark was a pretty long stint.”
Unfortunately, when it came to a Battle of the Bullpens, the Phillies were on the losing end. Add a distinct lack of offense on the part of the Fightin’s, and you get the Dodgers snapping the Phillies eight game winning streak with a 5-0 shutout.
“That’s probably as good of stuff that’s Aaron has had all year long,” said Phillies manager Joe Girardi. “It’s frustrating but it’s Mother Nature. It’s not much that you can do about it, but we still had some opportunities, but we couldn’t come up with the big hit like we’ve been able to as of late. But it’s unfortunate the rains came.”
Girardi said the good news about Nola’s short-lived outing Tuesday night was that he had good command of his curve ball along with his fastball.
“I thought it was the best curve ball he’s had all year long,” Girardi said. “They (the Dodgers) were swinging through it. He was throwing strikes with it. He was doing whatever he wanted it with it. This is a lineup that doesn’t necessarily strike out a lot and he was doing a real good job.”
Thanks to the Phillies loss and an Atlanta Braves win over the Cincinnati Reds, the Phillies are now just one game ahead of the second-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
The Phillies bullpen gave up five runs on 11 hits after Nola’s departure from the game after the long rain delay while only getting four hits off of six Dodgers relievers.
In the fourth inning, Phillies reliever J.D. Hammer gave up a solo homerun to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. LA got three more runs off Phillies reliever Matt Moore with an RBI single from catcher Will Smith which scored Turner and a two-run single by A.J. Pollock. In the ninth, reliever Mauricio Llovera gave up a solo-home run to Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy.
The Phillies offense which had been so good coming into Tuesday night’s game could not get anything going against Scherzer or the rest of the Dodgers bullpen. The Phillies were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and got six hits that lead to no runs.
Notes: The Phillies will be getting back Andrew McCutchen from the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday, Girardi said before Tuesday’s game.