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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After 42 days of spring training in sunny Clearwater, it’s now time to adjust to life – and baseball – in Philadelphia. Opening day is just two days away. Aaron Nola will make his first opening-day start at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves.
Nola made his first career opening-day start in 2018.
The Phillies’ ace won 17 games in 2018 and finished third in the NL Cy Young voting. He has higher expectations this season for himself and for his team.
It all starts in the film room, where Nola said he’s been prepping for the Braves for a while.
“I study them. I’ll do some the next few days. It’s all in front of us, I try to take advantage as much as I can with that area of work. I think it’s definitely helpful,” Nola said. “I don’t want to go in blind, but I feel like they have pretty much the same lineup as they’ve had the last couple of years with a couple additions.
“But it’s all about, for me, making quality pitches and going out there, and competing and putting the team in the best chance to win.”
Nola is coming off his first 200-inning season and said he feels great.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler agrees, saying nobody is more prepared for 2019 than Nola.