Phillies' Ranger Suárez achieves rare feat with incredible outing against the Rockies

The Phillies starter pitched an absolute gem on Tuesday.
Apr 16, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suarez
Apr 16, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suarez / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

It began like any other regular Tuesday night game in mid-April. But by the end, Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suárez had completed what has become a rare feat in the modern MLB game.

The lefty pitched a complete game shutout in the Phillies' 5-0 win over the visiting Colorado Rockies.

Having used only 89 pitches through eight innings of sparkling work, manager Rob Thomson sent his starter back out to the mound for the top of the ninth inning. It was a decision likely made easier by Bryce Harper's two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth.

The final frame was dicey. With reliever Jeff Hoffman standing by in the bullpen, Suárez gave up a lead-off single to Charlie Blackmon. He then got Ezequiel Tovar to strike out before another single to Ryan McMahon. He finished off the Rockies with another strikeout and a ground out that he fittingly handled himself.

Suárez needed 112 pitches (79 strikes) to roll through Colorado's lineup in a game that took just two hours and seven minutes to complete. He finished with eight strikeouts, seven hits (all singles) and just one walk. The 28-year-old is now 3-0 on the season with a 1.73 ERA.

Complete games have been a rare feat in MLB in recent years

According to FanGraphs, there were 35 complete games thrown in MLB in 2023 and only 21 shutouts.

It's the second complete game of the MLB season, the first being Houston Astros Ronel Blanco's no-hitter on April 1. It's the first complete game thrown by a Phillies pitcher since Michael Lorenzen's no-hitter last August.

Tuesday's feat marked the second time that Suárez has thrown a complete game. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer's Scott Lauber, he tossed a shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 25, 2021. The 112 pitches also mark a career-high; his previous high mark was 110.

With the win, on the back of Suárez's gem, the Phillies move to two games over .500 at 10-8 for the first time this season.