October 2, 2023

Phillies take Game 3 of World Series thanks to the long-ball


Philadelphia Phillies' Brandon Marsh celebrates his home run during the second inning in Game 3 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

For the first time in 4,747 days, the Phillies hosted a World Series game. And as Ranger Suarez took the mound at stunning Citizens Bank Park just a little after 8:00, the 45,712 fans in red were as loud and rowdy as could be.

The outbreak came quickly and never stopped as the Phillies powered their way to a dominant 7-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the World Series, thanks to five home runs. This tied the record for the most home runs hit in a single World Series game.

The win gave the Phillies a two-games-to-one advantage in the best-of-seven series with Game 4 set for Wednesday night.

Game 3 was all Philadelphia. Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, Kyle Schwarber, and Rhys Hoskins all went deep against Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. before the game even reached the sixth inning.

However, it was a play in the field that got the crowd going.

Jose Altuve floated a sinking liner to right field on the first pitch of the game. Nick Castellanos sprinted in and made his third excellent sliding catch of this postseason to set the tone at home.

After Castellanos’ catch, Suarez completed a 1-2-3 first inning and the Phillies’ bats went to work.

You knew they were not losing after that.

Schwarber drew a leadoff walk against McCullers in the bottom of the first inning. McCullers then retired Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto, bringing up Harper. The last pitch he saw in Philly was nine days ago when he sent the Phillies into the World Series with his famous two-run homer in the eighth inning in Game 5 of the NLCS against San Diego, Harper did it again.

He saw a hanging, first-pitch slider from McCullers and crushed it deep into the seats for his sixth homer this postseason and a 2-0 Phillies lead.

The dingers continued in the second inning as Bohm lined the first pitch he saw over the wall in left with no outs. It was the 1,000th home run in World Series history.

Marsh joined with a two-out shot to make it 4-0.

Marsh got involved again in the bottom of the fifth as he stroked a leadoff single and scored when Schwarber blasted a two-run homer off the batter’s eye in center field.

Hoskins followed with a solo shot, his sixth of the postseason.

McCullers set a postseason record as he allowed five homers in a single postseason game. The first to ever complete the feet. The Phillies also became just the third team to hit five homers in a single postseason game and just the second to do it in the World Series, joining the 2017 Astros. And every one of them caused a huge eruption in the seats.

Monday night’s rainout allowed the Phillies to move Suarez up to start Game 3. Nine days after closing out the NLCS and four days after pitching two-thirds of an inning of relief in the Game 1 win over the Astros, Suarez got the victory in Game 3.

The left-hander was as cool as a cucumber all game, completing five shutout innings. He allowed just three singles and a walk. Suarez has not pitched into the sixth in a month so Rob Thomson took him out at 76 pitches. He lines up to pitch Game 7 on Sunday night in Houston, if necessary.

Another big part of the win was the Phils did not need to use the big guns in the bullpen, as they settled with Connor Brogdon, Kyle Gibson, Nick Nelson, and Andrew Bellatti. They saved their guys like Jose Alvarado, David Robertson, Zach Eflin, and Seranthony Dominguez in the process, which is huge.

What a night at the Bank, that involved even more bedlam.

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