No matter what happens in the rest of these playoffs, one thing is already abundantly clear: the Philadelphia Phillies need to do whatever it takes to re-sign Aaron Nola this offseason.
The guy has been flat-out dominant in this postseason, and he's already done more than enough to earn another contract.
Nola was on top of his game again in Game 2 of the NLCS on Tuesday, shutting down the Arizona Diamondbacks over 6 scoreless frames. He yielded just 3 hits and no walks while striking out 7, suffocating the Diamondbacks' offense as the Phillies rolled to a 10-0 victory.
That was just another day at the office for Nola, who's been outstanding in all three of his playoff starts this month. He opened with 7 shutout innings against the Miami Marlins in the Wild Card Round, then followed it up with 5 2/3 innings of 2-run ball and 9 strikeouts versus the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. Not surprisingly, Philadelphia is 3-0 in his starts.
Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos have gotten much of the praise for the Phillies' remarkable postseason run, and rightfully so. But give Nola some credit too, as he's been lights-out against three tough offenses. He was stellar last October, too, and is now 5-2 with a 3.25 ERA in 8 career playoff starts.
The 30-year-old is going to become a free agent next month, and he's already indicated that he wants to stay in Philadelphia. The Phillies should do everything in their power to keep him around, as their fans might riot if he leaves. Pitchers who can give you 200 quality innings every year and still save their best for the postseason don't grow on trees, after all.
Philadelphia will have some work to do this offseason, because no team is ever perfect (even if it wins the World Series). But re-signing Nola should be the team's top priority.
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