Nola rebounds in third Double-A start

BOWIE, MD -- Righthander Aaron Nola was much more satisfied with his third start for Double-A Reading than his second.

After allowing three solo home runs in four innings last week against Harrisburg, the Phillies first round draft choice from LSU allowed two earned runs in five innings of Tuesday’s 8-3 loss to the Bowie Baysox, the affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

Nola allowed just two hits, both singles, while walking two and striking out two.

In three games for Reading, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Nola is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA, eight strikeouts, for walks and a 1.500 WHIP in 14 innings.

“It wasn’t an A-game but better than my last time out,” Nola said before Wednesday’s game with the Baysox. “For me, the more times out the better.”

Nola has pitched a total of 161 2/3 innings. He threw 116 1/3 for LSU and has combined for 45 1/3 between Clearwater and Reading. The Phillies have indicated that they don't want him to exceed 170 innings.

Reading manager Dusty Wathan said that Nola adjusted after his second start against Harrisburg after learning a valuable lesson.

“He needed to throw the ball in and that opens up a lot of things for him,” Wathan said. “Last night was a good step for him and I liked it.”

Nola is being limited to five-inning outings with Reading. In his previous start he only pitched four innings, throwing 78 pitches.

He was anxious to return after that second start.

“I was definitely ready to get back on the mound again,” he said. “Nobody wants to give up three home runs  to say the least.”

So he made some adjustments and saw the results.

“I felt great out there,” he said. “I got to play on a great field and once again pitch against some good hitters.”

No, he hasn’t been dominating, but the 21-year-old Nola is gaining experience at a high level.

“With the stuff he has now it is pretty darn good,” Wathan said. “If it gets better than that, then it will be great.”