Aaron Nola has had some fine pitching performances against the New York Mets at Citi Field.

There was a game in July of 2018 where he allowed just one hit while pitching seven shutout innings and striking out 10 in a Phillies win.

Then there was the time, in June of 2021, when he struck out 10 consecutive Mets batters, tying the major league record set by Tom Seaver. It’ss since been matched one more time by Corbin Burnes, when he was with Milwaukee.

And although he lost a game in August of 2022, it was a hell of a pitcher’s duel between Nola and Jacob deGrom that ended up with the Mets winning 1-0. Nola threw a complete game, allowing just four hits with eight strikeouts.

But his performance Tuesday was his best one yet in Queens.

Nola tossed a shutout, the fourth of his career. He had a perfect game through five innings, ended up allowing four hits and no walks while once again striking out eight as the Phillies won 4-0, taking both games in New York, and now come home to face the Mets for two more.

The Phillies improved to 30-13. It’s the second-fastest any Phils team has ever reached 30 wins, tying the 1913 and 1993 squads. The only team that did it faster was the 1976 Phillies, who won their 30th game in Game 41. They’re only the 79th team all-time to win at least 30 of their first 43 games. Of the previous 78, 59 went on to win their division (75.6%), 54 reached the World Series (69.2%) and 27 won the title (34.6%).

Also, the Phillies are now on pace for 113 wins this season. The franchise record is 102.

They are a wagon, and they keep finding ways to win games, with a different hero every game. On Tuesday it was Nola.

With his team not having an off day this week, Nola knew he wanted to give some length so the bullpen could get a day off. Only Jeff Hoffman started warming in the ninth inning, just in case things started to get away from Nola after he threw 100 pitches.

It wasn’t necessary. Nola threw 106 pitches. He even had one inning where he threw just three pitches, becoming only the seventh Phillie to ever do that (the last was the immortal Drew Anderson in 2019).

Nola had all five of his pitches working, but especially the knuckle curve, which he threw 35% of the time. It was his out pitch and induced 11 of the 13 swings and misses he had in the game.

Also of note for Nola was an uptick in his cutter usage, which nearly doubled his usual output (he threw 17 of them) and he also threw nine change ups, which is a few more than usual, and just enough to keep hitters guessing and off balance.

Most important was his command of the fastball in the lower quadrants of the strike zone. In his last start, he wasn’t getting the pitches down enough. They would be thigh-high to hitters as opposed to knee-high, and those couple inches make the difference between soft and hard contact. That wasn’t a problem at all against the Mets.

Nola improved to 5-2 and lowered his ERA to 3.10 this season. Of Nola’s four career shutouts, three were nine innings long. Of those three, two have now been caught by Garrett Stubbs.

Tuesday’s shutout was most notable though because the Phillies were without Trea Turner, of course (I.L. – hamstring), Bryce Harper, who was a late scratch with a migraine, and J.T. Realmuto, again…

It wouldn’t surprise if Realmuto missed at least one more game on Wednesday, though Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm continue to pace the offense.

Bohm had another double, his MLB-leading 16th of the season, and had two more RBIs, upping his total to 35, which is third in the majors behind Atlanta’s Marcel Ozuna (40) and Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez (37). He’s also now hitting .333, which is sixth in all of baseball.

The funny thing is, Bohm’s first RBI came after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The same thing happened Monday night in the ninth inning.

He became just the second player in the last 50 years to have an RBI hit by pitch in consecutive games (Nate McLouth, Pittsburgh, 2008).

But it’s Stott whose been on fire for the Phillies.

In his last 13 games, Stott is slashing .425/.561/.800 for a 1.361 OPS. He’s reached base safely 32 times in 57 plate appearances. That’s bonkers.

The most impressive thing in that span in the strikeout-to-walk ratio. He walked three more times Tuesday and has walked 14 times while striking out just six.

Stott’s career high in walks for a season is 39. He already has 22. He’s on pace for 83!

As good as Nola was, Stott gave him the breathing room he needed with this cutch single in the ninth inning to pad the Phillies lead:


And just in case you thought there was a chance for this train to slow down, Ranger Suarez is on the hill Wednesday, looking to make his own history and become the first Phillies pitcher to start a season 8-0 in their first nine starts. (He’d be the 35th pitcher to ever be at least 8-0 through nine starts and first since Jack Flaherty did it for St. Louis in 2021.)