The month of September has not recently been kind to Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola, who takes the mound Tuesday when the visiting Phillies continue their three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Nola owns a 5.37 ERA in a total of 12 September starts since 2019, but the right-hander is only focused on his next outing.
“I don’t really look at the Septembers. I try to pitch as best I can no matter what month it is,” Nola said. “I’ve been hearing about it from all different angles about September, and honestly, I’m kind of tired of it.”
Nola can only hope for the same run support his club provided Monday in the series opener, when the Phillies socked six homers in a 12-0 rout.
Jean Segura hit his first career grand slam during a seven-run eighth inning and Brad Miller homered twice for Philadelphia (71-66), which has won eight of its past 10 games.
Nola (7-7, 4.54 ERA) is 4-0 with a 2.75 ERA in seven career starts vs. Milwaukee. He is seeking to bounce back after allowing six runs in four-plus innings against Washington on Thursday.
Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich is 8-for-20 with a home run against the 28-year-old, who surrendered his 22nd and 23rd homers of the season against the Nationals.
The Phillies have won their last five meetings, all this season, against Milwaukee, which will send left-hander Eric Lauer (4-5, 3.43 ERA) to the mound.
The 26-year-old turned in a strong performance in a no-decision on Thursday, limiting the San Francisco Giants to one run and three hits over seven innings.
Lauer has been impressive since posting a 6.55 ERA in five games (four starts) in June, going 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA in his past nine games (eight starts).
Lauer is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in two career starts versus Philadelphia, but he has struggled to contain Andrew McCutchen (7-for-11 with two homers).
The left-hander took a 6-5 road loss against the Phillies on May 4, when he allowed six runs (two earned) over six innings.
Milwaukee (84-55) was held to six hits on Monday, one day after Daniel Vogelbach delivered a pinch-hit grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 6-5 victory over St. Louis.
Rowdy Tellez took over as the Brewers’ starting first baseman when Vogelbach missed two months with a hamstring injury, but Vogelbach isn’t complaining about his new role.
“Vogey has come back and he’s got kind of a different job,” manager Craig Counsell said. “In one sense, it’s a shame because he got hurt. We made an acquisition to cover for it and he’s done a nice job. So, for now, this is his job, being a bat off the bench.
“To deliver in that way when you don’t get a big sample of opportunities is a real credit to him. It really is. It’s, ‘I want to do this job and help this team.’ He’s decided to do that. His attitude with this is part of the reason you’re able to do something like that.”
Milwaukee will need its reserves over the next week after shortstop Willy Adames was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday due to a left quadriceps strain.
Luis Urias figures to receive most of the starts in place of Adames, who is hoping to return after 10 days.
–Field Level Media