FOX Sports MLB Analyst
Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies sent the crowd at Citizens Bank Park into an absolute frenzy on Tuesday night.
The Phillies tied the record for most homers in a World Series game, crushing five in a dominant 7-0 win over the Houston Astros in Game 3.
Kyle Schwarber, Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, Rhys Hoskins and Harper homered, while Phillies starter Ranger Suarez threw five shutout innings as the Phillies took a 2-1 series lead into the game 4 Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
Let’s go over some aspects of Philadelphia’s win:
World Series: Ranger Suarez shuts out Astros in Game 3
Ben Verlander and Alex Curry explain how delaying Game 3 paid dividends for the Phillies with the help of Ranger Suarez.
Is Bryce Harper having the best postseason ever?
The last swing Bryce Harper took in this ballpark was that eighth-inning home run against the Padres. Fast forward to Tuesday night, his first swing back was a home run in the World Series. How poetic was that? He is a two-time MVP. He’s going to kill it this postseason. Harper is having one of the greatest postseasons of all time. If you look at the stats, he has eight multi-hit games, which is the most in Phillies postseason history. These numbers go on and on. He has the fourth-most games in a single postseason all-time. I have no qualms about saying this is one of the best postseasons we’ve ever seen. It continues to rise to the occasion.
was Lance McCullers tip throws?
I don’t think it’s a question at this point. I think McCullers was clearly bending the pitches tonight. Harper hits that home run in the first inning and whispers something to Bohm. Bohm then comes up in the bottom of the second inning and on the first pitch he sees, he hits a home run. So guess what? Marsh hits a home run. It was one after the other. You start to think… ‘What’s going on here?’ For me, it was when Harper was talking to Bohm. He relayed what he saw. Now, tilting pitches are very, very common in baseball. But it is an art form to collect signs. It’s something they teach us. It’s something we’re told we need to figure out.
There was video posted of McCullers and what he was doing on the mound. Every time he raised his leg high, he threw his signature curveball. Every time he threw his fastball, he wasn’t lifting his leg as high and was honestly bending a little more. So the leg kick was the biggest thing, but there were a lot of things that went into it: the leg kick, the glove placement, the head placement, the way, the way of arm There was no doubt in my mind that McCullers was swinging his pitches.
Phillies The supporting cast continues to grind
This training deserves so much credit. I feel like every other day when we talk about the Phillies, we’re talking about their supporting cast. guess what This supporting cast wouldn’t be a supporting cast if it weren’t for Harper, who is one of the greatest players on the planet. All of these other guys are studs and they are fixtures in this lineup. They are given a lot of credit, and even if the pitcher is pitching, it is not easy to hit a baseball. These guys had a field day tonight. It was all because of the guys we’ve been talking about, except for a new one tonight: Brandon Marsh. What a night he had with the home run and a couple of hits. A lot of credit goes to Bohm, who had the hardest speed of anyone in the first two games of the World Series.
Home field advantage, wild fans and energy
It’s a party here. Right after the last out, the gate opens, and we go out onto the field where the fans are celebrating, the fireworks go off and everyone starts filming. Not here. They stayed until they were kicked out. For 20 minutes after the match, they were dancing, ‘Dancing On My Own’ plays. Some other videos are playing and they know them all. I can’t say enough about the crowd here and how amazing they’ve been. Rhys Hoskins’ wife was buying beer for everyone.
The Astros’ aggressive approach at the plate backfired
One of the things I talked about after Game 2 was, Why don’t more teams come out swinging? Now, there is a counter point to this, which could fail miserably, and we saw that tonight. Suarez had never started a World Series game in his career. You can’t prepare for the thrills you’ll feel when you take the mound for the first time in the World Series. The Astros kept the same swing approach and hope for the best. Jose Altuve he did and left. Jeremy Rock he did and left. Suddenly, Suarez has settled down, two pitches. Those two swings calmed his nerves. Suarez was dominant and the Astros game plan that worked so well in Game 2 didn’t work as this was the opposite point.
The postponement pays dividends according to Ranger Suarez
Suarez was very good, and he was coming off an outing in which he pitched in relief, which adds so much stress. When he pitched in relief, his entire schedule fell apart as he was supposed to start the 4th game, but there was a rainout, so he started the 3rd. Nothing that has happened with Suarez so far has been normal. I was really impressed with his ability to come in, get two quick outs, get out of that first inning, and then settle in and have guys off balance all night. He was one of my keys to this whole series. He was great, and that’s why the Phillies won this game.
Ben Verlander is an MLB analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the “Flippin’ Bats” podcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before joining his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. He spend five years with the Tigers. organization. Follow him on Twitter at @BenVerlander.
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