Alec Bohm, Aaron Nola rewrite history in Sweep of Pirates

Bohm, Nola Rewrite History in Sweep of Pirates originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies rebounded strongly after being swept by the Cubs last weekend, and are right in the NL Wild Card race after a four-game sweep of the Pirates at PNC Park. They did it thanks to strong starts and some hot bats, accomplishing feats, some of which haven’t been seen in over half a century.

Going back to the 60s

The Phillies’ weekend was the Pirates’ first shutout of Pittsburgh in the franchise’s four-game stretch since July 11-13, 1968 at Forbes Field. The Phils hitters in that series were Larry Jackson (6-hit shutout), Chris Short, Jeff James… and Chris Short again. Short went seven innings to win the second game of a doubleheader Thursday, then came on in relief of a 16-inning game to throw the final three innings on a day’s rest.

They are still mashed

Despite his first-round exit in the Home Run Derby, Kyle Schwarber continues his prolific streak of mashing home runs. He hit a 3-run shot Thursday and added a 441-foot solo shot to put Sunday’s game on ice. He already has 33 home games this season. Only Mike Schmidt (36 in 1979) and Ryan Howard (35 in 2006) have hit more for the Phillies in a season prior to August 1st.

Nola is in control

Aaron Nola pitched six strong innings to get the win on Sunday, striking out eight with just one walk. How good has he been this season? That 8:1 K/BB line lowered his ratio for the season. Nola’s K/BB ratio for the season is 8.44, by far the best of any Phillies pitcher in a season where he pitched at least 125 innings. Cliff Lee is the next best, with a 7.39 ratio in 2012. In fact, Nola’s current ratio ranks 8th in major league history.

Nola is also having another historic season in terms of allowing baserunners, or rather, not allowing baserunners. After Sunday’s gem his WHIP drops to 0.94. That ranks second in franchise history among pitchers, behind only Hall of Famer Pete Alexander, who posted a 0.84 WHIP in 1915.

Four!

The Phillies got big games from several players at the plate. Rhys Hoskins carried the offense Friday with his first career 4-hit game, and Alec Bohm (more on him to come) and Nick Castellanos(!) each had a 4-hit game in Sunday’s finale. It was the first time the Phillies had three different players post a 4-hit game in the same series since July 2007, when Chase Utley, Aaron Rowand and Greg Dobbs did the trick against the Cardinals.

Bom is cooking

Now to the man of the moment and the Phillies’ hottest hitter, Alec Bohm. As reported, he closed out July with a flourish, a 4-hit game, including a home run. Bohm hit .434 for the month, the highest batting average by a Phillies player in a single month (at least 60 PA) since Pat Burrell hit .435 in 2007.

Bohm’s big day at the plate on Sunday capped an 8-game hitting streak in which he collected 18 hits. He is the first Phillies player to have that many hits in an 8-game span since Shane Victorino in September 2008.

The Phillies finished July with a 15-10 record, following an impressive 19-8 record in June. The last time the Phillies posted a winning record in June and July in the same season was 2011, the final season of their five-year streak of back-to-back NL East titles.

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