Harper nearly quiets Atlanta on rough night for Nola
ATLANTA -- The Truist Park organist played The Who’s “Who Are You?” as Bryce Harper strolled to home plate in the fifth inning Thursday night. Braves fans booed as Harper readied himself in the batter’s box. Seconds later, he smashed a first-pitch slider deep to right field for a game-tying Aaron Nola nearly quiets Atlanta Braves fans with a game-tying solo home run and a two-out single in the third-base line, while he bunted up the third base line for a two. The Phillies are now 23-27 and Nola is frustrated after allowing eight hits, five runs, two walks and three home runs in six innings. Austin Riley has allowed a hit in only six of 25 appearances this season, but has an eye-popping 29.08 ERA, allowing 17 hits, 15 runs (14 earned) and six walks while striking out seven in just 4 1/3 innings. Nola has allowed 17 hits in 19 appearances, allowing no hits, one unearned run and six walk with 20 strikeouts in 17 2-3 innings, while Soto has allowed no hits in his other 19 appearances.
Published : 2 weeks ago by Todd Zolecki in Sports
Braves fans booed as Harper readied himself in the batter’s box. Seconds later, he smashed a first-pitch slider deep to right field for a game-tying solo home run. A couple of innings later, he bunted up the third-base line for a two-out single, later scoring the tying run on Kyle Schwarber’s double to right field.
“We’ll never think as a team, 'We can’t beat these guys,' or anything like that,” Harper said. “We’ve got to go out there and play our game, and understand the Braves are a really good team. We’re a really good team as well.”
But the Phillies, who beat the Braves in four games last fall in the NLDS, are 23-27. They are 8-14 since they won two in a row in Houston on April 28-29 to improve to 15-13.
The Phils’ play the past few weeks has placed increased significance on this four-game series. Perhaps it is why Aaron Nola sounded as frustrated as he has been following any start in recent memory. He allowed eight hits, five runs, two walks and three home runs in six innings. It was the first time he had allowed three homers in a game since July 18, 2019.
“I’ve just got to execute,” Nola said. “I didn’t execute well tonight. They didn’t miss any balls over the plate. They hit some bad pitches, a couple good ones. I mean, they pretty much shelled me tonight. … It’s just not a great night.”
Nola allowed a two-run home run in the first inning to Austin Riley, who crushed a 1-1 cutter to deep left-center field. He allowed a solo shot to Marcell Ozuna in the second. Nola allowed a solo homer in the fifth to Riley, who crushed a first-pitch curveball to deep left-center field again.
Soto has allowed a hit in only six of 25 appearances this season. But in those six games, he has an eye-popping 29.08 ERA, allowing 17 hits, 15 runs (14 earned) and six walks while striking out seven in just 4 1/3 innings. In Soto’s other 19 appearances, he has allowed no hits, one unearned run and six walks with 20 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings.
“It’s been frustrating,” Soto said through the team’s interpreter. “It’s been a little difficult because I either have really good outings or really bad outings. Those are things I have to fix on the fly.”
Topics: Georgia, Atlanta, Baseball, MLB, Philadelphia Phillies