Making his first start in a week, Nola had trouble finishing off innings before Connor Brogdon and Sam Coonrod combined to give up five runs in the eighth.
Aaron Nola doesn’t usually go more than four or five days between starts, even when the schedule allows for extra rest. So when the Phillies decided last week to give him a six-day breather and Zach Eflin a nine-day respite, it sparked curiosity about the starters’ health, especially coming off a 2020 season that was only 60 games long.
“The immediate concern is not great,” manager Joe Girardi said last Friday. “But as they continue to add to that inning total, we had some concerns.”
Nola’s uneven performance Tuesday night won’t do much to alleviate them.
To be fair, it wasn’t Nola who coughed up a one-run lead in the eighth inning of the Phillies’ 9-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves before another intimate gathering of 13,125 at fully reopened Citizens Bank Park. Lay that on Connor Brogdon and Sam Coonrod, who combined to allow five runs in a late-game implosion that was reminiscent of the bad, old days of 2020 when fans weren’t allowed in the ballpark.