PHILADELPHIA — This time, unorthodox is unnecessary.
The Phillies don’t need Rangers Suarez to pitch from the bullpen in Game 3 of the World Series. They don’t need to keep his outings short, use him on pitching day, or provide any of the stunts that make him such a big part of the Philly playoff pitching puzzle. The Phillies just need Suarez to start the game the traditional way.
As it turns out, he’s pretty good at that too.
Suarez’s five-run scoreless innings on Tuesday provided the backbone for Philadelphia’s 7-0 win over the Astros, keeping pitching steady as the Phillies were busy with five homers against his opponent, Lance McCullers Jr. The effort made Suarez the second Phillies in history to submit a scoreless World Series start, and the first since Curt Schilling was suspended for Game 5 in 1993.
“He did everything for us, and he did it well,” catcher JT Realmuto said. “Looks like he’s playing children’s games.”
Suarez’s performance at Citizens Bank Park may seem relatively modest in scoring, but as a pitcher — read: a regular creature — it’s more than a little noteworthy. After his most recent start in Game 3 of the Nations League Championship Series, Suarez recorded the last two outs of Game 5 on his bullpen day to save him in Game 1 of the World Series. Two of the three batsmen facing. Hand, who threw a total of 13 pitches in those games, entered Tuesday’s game without starting a game in 11 days.
in spite of. Returning to the starting lineup, Suarez had two outs in his first two games thanks to excellent defence by Nick Castellanos and Bryson Stott – allowing Suarez for the first time Think: “If we start this way, we’ll only do better.”
Suarez went on to retire the game’s top five batters in a row, then retire in nine straight innings from the second to the fifth. When Suarez finally had some trouble in the fifth, he induced an inning-ending pop from Jose Artuf to end what he called a “wonderful” night.
“I don’t know if he’s sweating tonight,” Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins said. “So calm on the mound and so confident in what he’s doing. … We’ve seen it all year. I’m really, really proud of him and excited for him because baseball The rest of the world is seeing how talented this guy is.”
“He was really good,” added Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, “and we didn’t prepare enough baseball.”
All told, Suarez didn’t allow Bregman and the other top-five hitters in Houston’s lineup to hit base in 11 innings, even though he gave up six hits the last time he faced them on Oct. 4. Suarez threw just 76 pitches in his rebounding effort, joining Freddy Garcia as the only Venezuelan-born starting pitcher to win a World Series.
“I mean, the balance is through the roof,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “Nothing really bothered him. He just got executed all night.”
It’s for these reasons — Suarez’s adaptability, his efficiency, his “slow heart,” as Hoskins and Realmuto put it — that the Phillies use him in any of his roles. All feel comfortable. That trust will soon earn him the most important task, as Suarez is ready to start a potential winner-take-all Game 7 if necessary.
Suarez, who goes 10-7 in the regular season with a 3.65 ERA, doesn’t usually get the same accolades as staff Aaron Nola or Zack Wheeler, but he often takes on tasks the rest of the Phillies don’t . So it’s only fitting that Suarez starts Game 7 of the World Series doing something the Phillies have never done before.
“No moment was too big for him,” Realmuto said. “Literally he looked like he was going to hang out and have fun, like any other midseason inning. Don’t know where this team would be without him.”