Nola gets the ball for the Phillies today
The Phillies only got 79 pitches out of starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson during the first game against the Cincinnati Reds. A decision was made to take him out of the game after pitching 6 full innings. Hellickson wasn't in trouble at all during his start, but still got the gate after 6 IP and the Phillies bullpen couldn't hold the thin lead that the Phils had going into the 7th inning.
Today, Aaron Nola is on the mound for the Phillies, making his first start of the year for the team and looking to help them earn the first victory of the year.
Looking at some other teams and their first starts on the season gives a little different result. Yesterday, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard earned the first Mets win with throwing 92 pitches. Johnny Cueto pitched his first game and got a win with 96 pitches thrown for the Giants yesterday. Jake Arrieta got his first win with 89 pitches thrown in the game for the Cubs first game.
Looking at the above pitchers, it's easy to see that if someone is pitching well, you can leave them in for a full game. The Phillies management chose not to do that, and handed the ball over to a bullpen that doesn't even know who the closer is. Somehow this doesn't seem to be all that great by manager Pete Mackanin, a team needs to know who it's closer is, as much as who it's starting pitchers are.
Nola will be making his debut after going 6-2 with a 3.59 ERA last year, so far this year, Nola has looked good but some speed hasn't been what gets the job done for him, you can read this article in Philly.com to see that.
Hopefully, if he is pitching well, Nola will be given the chance to go the distance for the Phillies tonight. It's the regular season now, pitchers need to get a full game in, and the Phils need to get some offense going.