The performance of Aaron Nola on Monday was not flawless. Yet his team, the Philadelphia Phillies, nevertheless advanced to the postseason thanks to his close call. Nola went 6.2 innings without allowing a hit, but Yordan Alvarez’s single in the eighth ruined everything.

The Phillies secured a wild card place thanks to his nine-strikeout, two-hit performance in a 3-0 victory over the Houston Astros. On Monday, the Phillies got all the runs they needed from Kyle Schwarber’s leadoff home shot.

Aaron Nola

After being regulars in the playoffs for a decade, the Phillies finally broke their playoff drought in 2018. In Philadelphia, that postseason appearance capped a five-year playoff streak that culminated in a 2008 World Series title. On Monday, the Phillies toasted the achievement with a champagne shower in the clubhouse, as is customary among Major League Baseball clubs.

The victory on Monday capped a remarkable comeback for the Phillies during the regular season, which began with a 22-29 record and the dismissal of manager Joe Girardi in June.

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Since replacing Girardi, interim manager Rob Thomson has led the Phillies to a 65-44 record. However, they did not make it easy on themselves in September, losing 10 of their first 14 games before recovering to win four of their last five.

Unfortunately for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Philadelphia Phillies were the last team in Major League Baseball to secure a playoff spot, meaning they were officially eliminated from playoff contention. Under MLB’s new 12-team playoff system, the Phillies will begin a best-of-three series on the road this coming Friday against either the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Mets, or the Atlanta Braves.

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