Phillies Win to Take Series Lead 2-1 in Electric World Series: Can They Finish in the City of Brotherly Love?
The Philadelphia Phillies were back at home Tuesday evening for game three of the World Series, and they brought out the bats that maybe they left at home when they went to Houston to start the 2022 Series.
They slammed five home-runs off Houston Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr., starting off with an opening shot hit by Bryce Harper in the first inning, after McCullers had walked Kyle Schwarber, giving the Philies a 2-1 lead in the third game in front of the Philadelphia home crowd. As you can see below, Harper destroyed the first World Series pitch he saw at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies continued their home-run onslaught with a 7-0 victory, with all seven runs coming on homers, as Harper, Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins each hitting a homer in the game.
With the rain on Monday postponing Game 3, Phillies starter Ranger Suarez was able to start Tuesday evening’s game, and he took advantage of the opportunity and pitched five scoreless innings. This gave manager Rob Thomson a huge cushion when he decided to go to the bullpen after five innings.
Dusty Baker, Houston’s manager is being second-guessed by many for not turning to his well rested and talented staff in his bullpen, earlier than he did.
With McCullers allowing an MLB postseason record five home runs, not only reflects how he pitched, but how long he was left out there when it was obvious, he wasn’t fooling anyone in the Phillies’ lineup.
In the second inning, McCullers gave up two more homers to put the Astros down 4-0. The outburst by the Phillies in the bottom of the fifth left seven runs on six hits, in 4 1/3 innings charged to McCullers. This outing game McCullers the dubious honor of becoming the first pitch to ever surrender five home runs in a World Series contest, as well as giving up the most runs allowed by a World Series starter since 2004.
The Astros offense didn’t seem to make much of an attempt to assist the distraught pitcher as they didn’t manage a single extra-base hit in the entire game, even against the second tier of the Phillies’ bullpen.
McCullers performance had many MLB fans as well as internet sleuths and broadcaster John Smoltz, raising questions and suspicions, that McCullers was somehow tipping off or giving a heads up about his upcoming pitches.
It was apparent that McCullers was refusing to throw his fastball, especially to left-handers, so they already had a leg up in being able to sit on his usually dynamic breaking balls. He threw only 14 sinkers (his primary fastball) in 78 pitches. Another indication that McCullers was tipping off his pitches, was when Harper’s whisper to Bohm before his at bat attempt, who immediately stepped up to the plate and homered.
Now the Phillies have a clear goal and that is to try to put the series away without having to go back to Houston. To do that, they will need to win Game 4 on Wednesday night. Co-ace Aaron Nola, coming off a rough Game 1 outing, gets the ball for the Phillies. The Astros will start Cristian Javier, who was really their third-best starter all season, and one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball.
You can watch the Phillies-Astros Game 4 beginning at 8:03 p.m. Eastern Wednesday on Fox.
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