By Sam Bush

So, Aaron Nola was so good last night against the Yanks he even got a shout-out from manager Joe Girardi.

Nola pitched six scoreless innings while giving up just one hit (a single) and no walks. He hit a batter and struck out nine.

“That was as good as I’ve seen him,” Girardi said. “He was dominant. He had command on both sides of the plate with his fastball. His breaking ball was outstanding. He threw good changeups. He was in total control the whole night.”



Nola threw 84 pitches, 56 of which were strikes.

The Phillies won the game, 4-0. For the night, their pitchers allowed just two hits, walked none and struck out 12. Didi Gregorius hit a two-run homer.

Nola had been hit hard by Toronto in his previous start and entered the game with an ERA of 10.38 in official Grapefruit League action.

“I haven’t been too good this spring,” Nola said. “I felt good the whole game,” he said. “Throwing in the outfield before my bullpen, I felt good with the fastball and it carried over to the game.”

Nola’s fastball sat at 93 mph and his command on the outside corner to right-handed hitters was exceptional.

“My fastball command to (that side) was the best it’s been in a while,” Nola said. “I feel good, healthy. My arm feels solid. I have to keep building on this.”

Earlier in the day, Girardi officially informed Nola that he would make his fourth straight opening day start on April 1. It had been clear for weeks that Nola would get that assignment but hearing it from the manager is always a thrill.

“It’s a cool honor, man,” he said. “It’s cool to be named that again and start the year off in the first game. I’m honored. But there’s a lot of starts after that. I hope to give us a chance to win on opening day and I’m looking forward to my next outing to stay on top of things.”

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