3 things to watch for in Cardinals-Phillies National League Wild Card Game 2

Philadelphia Phillies, Aaron Nola

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

ST. LOUIS — After a ninth-inning meltdown on Friday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals will look to avoid elimination on Saturday night when they host the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of the National League Wild Card.

Down 2-0 with one out in the ninth, the Philadelphia Phillies scored six runs on their way to a 6-3 win and 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Wild Card series. St. Louis will look to even the series on Saturday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:37 p.m. (Eastern time) and televised on ESPN2.

3 things to watch in Cardinals-Phillies Game 2: Aaron Nola’s attack

On Friday, Philadelphia starting pitcher Zack Wheeler threw strikes to 17 of the 22 batters he faced. Getting ahead of St. Louis hitters was a focus for Philadelphia pitching heading into the series, and that will be part of the game plan for Game 2 starter Aaron Nola on Saturday night.

“Gotta try to get ahead of them,” Nola said about what will be his key to success against St. Louis. “Obviously, experienced veteran guys [in St. Louis lineup], been in this position before, World Series winners. Gotta try to get ahead of them and execute pitches. I mean, there’s really no other way about it. They’re smart hitters.”

Nola faced the Cardinals on July 11 at Busch Stadium and gave up five runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. Can he limit St. Louis batters in his second outing of the season in the Gateway City?

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