Phillies vs. Padres NLCS: Aaron Nola, Austin Nola acknowledge their uncommon alternative

Phillies vs. Padres NLCS: Aaron Nola, Austin Nola acknowledge their uncommon alternative

When the Nola brothers caught up earlier this week earlier than the beginning of the NLCS in San Diego, they averted speaking baseball, acknowledging the rarity of the chance earlier than them.

“The factor we talked about going into this sequence is it could possibly be one of many final instances, since you by no means know,” mentioned Aaron Nola, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in 12⅔ innings in his first two postseason begins. .

“You by no means know if it is ever going to occur, we’re taking part in in opposition to one another at this stage of the NLCS. We’re blessed to be on this place in opposition to one another and on the identical discipline. It is fairly cool.”

Aaron Nola will begin Sport 2 for the Phillies on Wednesday afternoon in San Diego. Austin Nola has been the Padres’ main catcher, hitting .381 with two doubles and 4 RBIs within the first two rounds of the playoffs.

The Nolas are the primary pair of brothers whose groups have confronted one another in a postseason sequence since Roberto and Sandy Alomar within the 1997 ALCS. That is solely the fourth such incident within the final 98 years. However one among these first brothers is a pitcher who will truly face his brother.

Austin is 4 years older than Aaron and has taken a a lot completely different path thus far. The elder Nola was a fifth-round choose in 2012 who did not make it to the majors till 2019 along with his second group. He had greater than 3,000 minor-league plate appearances throughout that point. Aaron was a first-round choose of the Phillies in 2014 and debuted within the majors a 12 months later.

Austin was a shortstop and did not catch within the minors till 2017.

“There is a good story of how he obtained to the place he is in proper now,” Aaron mentioned Tuesday afternoon. “He is performed shortstop his complete life and moved across the infield and completed — grew to become a catcher years in the past, by no means caught earlier than, and obtained referred to as up with the Mariners, performed first base, by no means performed first base earlier than.

“He was traded right here to San Diego and caught in 2020. Now he is catching nearly on daily basis.

“The resilience that he had and sticking with what he does and what he is aware of greatest and being within the minor leagues for seven, seven and a half years says loads about his journey.”

Aaron is as mild as they arrive. Those that have watched his whole profession unfold in Philadelphia can depend on one hand the variety of instances he has reacted emotionally to something on the mound, good or dangerous. You could solely want a couple of fingers.

It was a aggressive household rising up and Austin, because the older brother, wished to ensure Aaron introduced depth and an edge to his personal athletic pursuits.

“Do not let me win in any respect,” Aaron mentioned. “I did not win a variety of issues, it doesn’t matter what we did or what we performed. It took me somewhat bit, somewhat little bit of time. So I feel it gave me that aggressive edge.

“Rising up, I all the time wished to be nearly as good as him, and I went to nearly each one among his baseball video games, basketball video games, soccer video games. When he went to highschool, I went to nearly each one among them, after which earlier than we performed one another in school at LSU, I I went to nearly each recreation at his home.

“I obtained to see how he went about his enterprise and performed the sport and realized loads from him.”

The Nola brothers have confronted one another six instances. Austin was 1 for five with a single, a stroll and two strikeouts.

It is an attention-grabbing story, one of many many subplots of this NLCS, however zoning will not be tough for both brother.

“We have accomplished it a couple of instances now, and it is fairly cool,” Aaron mentioned. “Clearly not as nerve-racking as the primary time we confronted off in opposition to one another. However on the finish of the day, I am attempting to outplay him, and on the finish of the day, he is attempting to outplay me. .

“Brother vs. brother, it is nonetheless a recreation.”

The Nola household has additionally developed a routine for when the Phillies and Padres meet.

“I do know my dad often wears two jerseys, and I feel he wears the Phillies jersey over the Padres jersey after I’m pitching, after which the opposite method round after I’m not pitching,” Aaron mentioned.

“Austin performs just about on daily basis, so I feel he in all probability wears a Padres jersey somewhat an excessive amount of.”

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