The Phillies are two wins away from their third-ever World Series championship.
The Philadelphia Phillies and their fans had to wait an extra day for the first World Series game at Citizens Bank Park since 2009. Their patience was rewarded. In their 7-0 Tuesday night win against the Houston Astros, the Phillies tied a World Series record with five home runs in a game.
The Astros tried to take the same approach with Ranger Suárez as they did with Zack Wheeler — get hits early. But, that didn’t affect the calm and collected Suárez. Instead, he worked a 1-2-3 first to allow the offense to begin its attack on Astros starter Lance McCullers, Jr.
First, it was Bryce Harper — who mashed a first-pitch curveball deep to right for a two-run homer, giving the Phillies an early lead.
It was a lead the Phillies would never surrender. In the second, Alec Bohm took some advice from Harper and lined the first pitch he saw into the left-field seats. Brandon Marsh would follow later in the inning with his own solo shot that just cleared the right-field wall. Thankfully, it was also out of the reach of Houston’s 6-foot-4 right fielder Kyle Tucker.
The Astros would threaten in their half of the fifth. After a two-out walk to Chas McCormick, Martín Maldonado would get a base hit up the middle to put runners on first and second. But, Suárez got José Altuve to pop out to prevent any damage.
Overall, Suárez worked five scoreless innings — allowing three hits and one walk. He struck out four and kept the Astros off the board.
Still up 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Kyle Schwarber decided to join the home run party. And this time — much to the disappointment of Astros fans — it was far from foul. He sent another “Schwarbomb” to deep center field off the batter’s eye ivy for a two-run shot, increasing the lead to 6-0. Not to be left out was Rhys Hoskins, who took a 2-2 pitch from McCullers deep to left field for the Phillies’ fifth home run of the night.
McCullers was lifted after Hoskins’ ball left the yard. He went 4 1/3 innings, surrendering seven earned runs on six hits and a walk.
With the Phillies up 7-0, manager Rob Thomson turned to his bullpen in the sixth. The larger lead allowed him to save the arms of José Alvarado and Seranthony Domínguez. Instead, Thomson turned to Connor Brogdon, Kyle Gibson, Nick Nelson, and Andrew Bellatti. Combined, they worked four scoreless innings.
When all the balls finally landed, it was a decisive Game 3 victory for the Phillies. They are now up 2-1 in the World Series against the Astros with Game 4 on Wednesday, November 2. Pitching for the Phillies will be Aaron Nola — who will look to rebound from a tough Game 1 start where he allowed five runs.