|4:45 PM PT5:45 PM MT6:45 PM CT7:45 PM ET19:45 ET23:45 GMT7:45 4:45 PM MST6:45 PM EST7:15 PM VEN3:45 UAE (+1)6:45 PM CT, May 7, 2019
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri Attendance: 38,562
Phillies need Nola to pitch like ace against Cards
Big things were expected of Aaron Nola this season after he went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and finished third in the National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2018.
However, the Philadelphia right-hander hasn't yet resembled last season's version. The 25-year-old will take another shot at finding his form when the Phillies visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday in the middle contest of a three-game series.
Opposing batters have a collective .299 average against Nola -- compared to .197 last season. Nola (2-0) owns a 5.06 ERA, down from 6.84 as he has allowed just two runs in 12 1/3 innings over his past two starts.
"Obviously I started off slow, really slow, and definitely not the way I wanted to start," Nola told reporters. "I feel like these last couple of outings I've kind of gotten it back together and back to kind of feeling like myself again.
"I feel like the experience helps, going through ups and downs and learning how to deal with those kinds of things."
Nola gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers in his last turn. But he allowed seven hits and walked three before being removed.
Nola lost his lone start against St. Louis last season as he gave up four runs and seven hits over six innings. Overall, he is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA in four career outings against the Cardinals.
He has experienced mixed results against St. Louis left fielder Marcell Ozuna. Nola has struck him out 10 times but Ozuna is 6-for-19 with two homers.
The Cardinals smacked three homers while producing a 6-0 win in Monday's series opener.
Catcher Yadier Molina went 3-for-4 with a two-run shot. Shortstop Paul DeJong also hit a two-run blast and Matt Carpenter hit a solo homer.
Carpenter's homer stood out to Cardinals manager Mike Shildt as the left-handed hitter slugged a knee-high pitch over the fence in left-center field.
It was the first homer since April 17 for the 33-year-old Carpenter and just his fourth of the campaign. His bat has shown life over the past three games as he has gone 6-for-14 to raise his average from .190 to .215.
"You could see it in BP," Shildt told reporters, referring to batting practice at Wrigley Field in Chicago last Friday. "You can kind of see it click a little bit.
"You see better passes at the ball and it is starting to translate into games. He knows himself. It's just a matter of time."
Prior to Monday's contest, Carpenter had this to say about his slow start: "Typically, when the weather warms up, that's when I warm up."
Philadelphia's Bryce Harper continues to struggle and he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the opener to drop his average to .226. Harper is 3-for-26 over the past seven games.
The Phillies had just five hits on Monday and just one at-bat with a runner in scoring position. That came when Nick Williams bounced out with two on and two out to end the eighth.
Right-hander Dakota Hudson (2-2, 4.80 ERA) will be on the mound for the Cardinals. He has served up eight homers in just 30 innings.
Hudson lost Thursday to the Washington Nationals in his last turn despite allowing just two runs (one earned) and four hits over six innings. He won his previous two starts.
The 24-year-old has never faced the Phillies.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 7, 2019