Phillies turn to Nola for series opener vs. Brewers

Field Level Media

May 13, 2019 at 4:32 am.

The Philadelphia Phillies will be searching for their third consecutive victory when they host the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday.

The Phillies dropped the first game of a three-game series at the Kansas City Royals before responding to win the final two, including 6-1 on Sunday. The Phillies now return home to face the talented Brewers.

“They’re one of the best teams in the National League,” Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto told reporters. “Probably going to be a postseason team, in my opinion, so it’ll be fun to see where we stack up. It’s going to be an exciting series.”

The Phillies will hand the ball to their ace, right-hander Aaron Nola. Following a slow start, Nola has continued to improve in just about every outing.

In his last start, Nola (3-0, 4.57 ERA) allowed only three hits and one run in an 11-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Nola struck out seven in six innings.

Over his last four starts, Nola has a 2.25 ERA with 26 strikeouts. He has given up one run in each of his past three starts.

“It’s definitely the best I’ve felt all year with all my pitches,” Nola said after his last start. “I was throwing quality pitches and as the game went on, I was getting ahead more. I was getting first pitch strikes more.”

The Phillies’ powerful lineup wasn’t able to produce a home run on Sunday, but they still found a way to win.

“Sometimes we’re going to go stretches without hitting the ball out of the ballpark,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “During those stretches, we can still take our walks and keep the line moving, and that’s what we’ve done.”

Following the Brewers’ 4-1 loss to the host Chicago Cubs on Sunday night, manager Craig Counsell intimated that Freddy Peralta would likely start on Monday but didn’t fully commit.

Peralta is 2-1 with a 6.75 ERA in 26 2/3 innings, which include six appearances and five starts. In Peralta’s last start Tuesday, he lasted five innings and gave up three hits and no runs in a 6-0 win over the Washington Nationals.

“For me, it was good,” Peralta said. “I feel a bit different, but I was coming into the moment ready to fight.”

The Brewers could be without Ryan Braun in the starting lineup for a third straight game because of a sore left hamstring. Braun did pinch hit in each of the past two games, but his full return is uncertain.

“I felt the hamstring grab on me a little bit when I was tagging up from second to third (on Friday),” he said. “Obviously, I have to get to the point where I don’t feel it grabbing when I’m jogging so I can get out there and sprint.

“I’m hopeful and optimistic that I’m back soon. But it’s a hamstring so you have to get it right.”

Braun is hitting .250 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs.

Right fielder Christian Yelich was 1 for 4 in Sunday’s 4-1 loss, but he still brings a stellar .338 average into the series against the Phillies. Yelich has 16 homers and 37 RBIs this season.