Phillies’ Ranger Suarez set for postseason debut in NLDS opener

Ranger Suarez #55 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ranger Suarez #55 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Phillies left-hander Ranger Suarez will oppose Max Fried in Game 1 of the NLDS.

The Philadelphia Phillies are set to begin the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. The club will turn to left-hander Ranger Suarez to take the mound. Suarez has earned the right to start a postseason game. He has pitched well over the last two seasons and has been with the Phillies through some of their more disappointing seasons.

Suarez was signed to a minor-league deal back in 2012, and made his debut in 2018. He was mainly a reliever or spot starter in 2018, and was only used as a reliever in 2019 and 2020.

Suarez’s breakout season came in 2021 when he appeared in 39 games — starting in 12 — and posted a 1.36 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 106 innings pitched. Another season with a below 2.00 ERA was something that could not be expected, but Suarez has shown that he is a capable Major League starter.

He followed up his 2021 campaign by making the starting rotation out of spring training. In the 2022 regular season, Suarez started 29 games and posted a 3.65 ERA over those starts. Suarez actually pitched much better than the ERA suggests, but there were times that he looked tired from surpassing his previous mark for innings pitched in a season in late summer.

Suarez has proven that he can be an effective starter. He has a 3.21 ERA against the Braves this season, which is impressive — considering the depth of their lineup.

The NLDS will be tough facing the reigning World Series champion Braves. However, the Phillies have shown that they can show up in big games. The team will look to Suarez to set the tone on the mound, while the offense will have to oppose Braves ace Fried.

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