By Matt Leon
There was a lot of buzz in Reading last night as the 2014 first-round pick of the Phillies, Aaron Nola, made his first start at the Double-A level.
He did not disappoint.
The right-hander out of LSU pitched five strong innings, allowing just a run on six hits. He walked one and struck out four to lead Reading to a 9-2 win over Harrisburg.
“I’ve got that one out of the way,” Nola said after the game. “I made a couple of mistakes, left the ball over the plate on a couple and they capitalized on those mistakes. But other than that, I got the outs I needed, got a couple of double plays and other than that it went went well. I felt good.”
Nola worked quickly and smartly, throwing 72 pitches during his five innings of work (47 for strikes). He says he had different pitches working for him at different parts of the game.
“At the beginning it was my fastball,” Nola says. “I found my curveball later in the game. Change-up worked on a couple of (hitters). Like I said, I left that change-up over the middle where that guy got the RBI. After that I made an adjustment on it.”
More than 7,200 people came out to watch Nola’s debut and that just added to the fun for the 21-year-old.
“It felt good to be out there in front of a bigger crowd again,” Nola says. “I had that at LSU a lot of starts. Getting back out in front of a big crowd, good fan base, the Phillies fan base is really good. Got a little bit of adrenaline in me going.”
Nola now has a 2.97 ERA in eight appearances as a pro. His first seven came for Single-A Clearwater.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.
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