Dad mutes reaction when Aaron Nola strikes out little bro

A.J. Nola wanted to celebrate, but was torn. 

His sons were facing each other at the major league level for the first time and it was a one-on-one duel between pitcher and batter. 

Philadelphia Phillies righty Aaron Nola, 28, struck out San Diego Padres catcher Austin Nola, 31, in the bottom of the second inning. It was a great at-bat for Aaron, who needed only three pitches — two of which were his fastest of the season — to oust his big brother from the box. 

And A.J. didn’t know what to do afterward in a moment that garnered fans attention. He stood up to cheer, then raised his hands in the universal “I don’t know” move. 

The baseball dad opted for a Padres jersey under the Phillies jersey, rather than the two jerseys stitched together. 

Two of the three pitches Aaron Nola threw to his big bro were his fastest of the season, per ESPN Stats & Info. He hit 95.9 mph on a 0-1 count fastball and 96.2 mph on a 0-2 fastball that Austin swung at. He pitched a perfect game through six innings and went 8 2/3 with three runs, two earned, and two hits. He struck out 11 on 117 pitches (76 strikes). It ties the highest number of pitches in his career.

Austin popped out to second in the fifth and worked a walk in the seventh.

The Padres won, 4-3, when Adam Frazier scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th. 

Nola brothers meet for first time since LSU days

Austin and Aaron Nola

The Padres Austin Nola and little brother Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies faced each other in an MLB game for the first time. (Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

The family recounted to the San Diego Union-Tribune the last meeting between the two when they were at LSU together. Aaron, then a shortstop, hit a double off the wall on the first fastpitch he saw from his little brother in an intrasquad game. 

From the Union-Tribune:

“I was (ticked) off at myself for leaving a ball over the plate,” Aaron Nola recalled of their last meeting. “It’s fun. Hopefully one day I get to face him. If it works out in San Diego, it works out. I’ve always said hopefully before our careers are over I’ll get to throw to him behind the dish.

“I think that would be pretty cool, too.”

The brothers, who took different routes to MLB, hope it’s the first of many major league meetings. 

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