Aaron and Austin Nola made MLB history during Wednesday's Game 2 of the National League Championship Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres. The two became the first siblings to square off in a pitcher-batter matchup in postseason history, as well as the sixth pair of brothers to play against one another in a postseason series. The most recent brothers to accomplish the feat (Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr.) did so as part of the 1997 American League Championship Series.
Aaron, a right-handed pitcher who started the game for the Phillies, won the first encounter in the bottom of the second inning when he coerced an inning-ending groundout off the bat of Austin, the Padres' starting catcher. The Fox broadcast interviewed their parents afterward, with their father, A.J., saying simply, "Aaron got him the first at-bat." (A.J., for those wondering, was wearing a Padres hat and a Phillies jersey over a Padres jersey.)
Austin, meanwhile, claimed the win in their second at-bat. He singled to drive in a run and reduce the Phillies' lead to 4-3. (The Padres, who fell behind early, would later take over the game.) Aaron departed before the two could square up for a third time, and Austin's rally-starting single keyed an eventual 8-5 Padres win.
Here's the full list of brothers who have competed against one another as part of a postseason series, courtesy of Sarah Langs of MLB.com and Elias Sports:
- Doc and Jimmy Johnston, 1920 World Series
- Irish and Bob Meusel, 1921-23 World Series
- Ken and Clete Boyer, 1964 World Series
- Garth and Dane Iorg, 1985 ALCS
- Sandy and Roberto Alomar, 1996 ALDS and 1997 ALCS
"I know his stuff very well," Austin, the 32-year-old older bother, told the Associated Press prior to the game. "We talk a lot about pitching. I use a lot of his knowledge and wisdom to teach me."
For the sake of both Nolas, here's hoping their encounter doesn't end with a broken finger, as was the case with Houston Astros reliever Phil Maton following a late-season outing that saw him surrender a base hit to his brother and Phillies infielder Nick Maton. Phil, in addition to losing bragging rights at Thanksgiving dinner next month, will miss the rest of the postseason.