Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis
The Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park tonight looking to take a pivotal lead in the National League Championship Series; historically, winners in Game 3 of a best-of-seven series have advanced 69 percent of the time. 

The series with the Padres is tied as San Diego jumped on Aaron Nola in Game 2 and coasted to an 8-5 win. 

"We went into San Diego and split," said Phillies skipper Rob Thomson. "Especially in Game 2, we were looking to sweep, but they did a nice job coming back. I think for the most part we did our job in San Diego, and now we feel pretty good being home here for the next three games in front of our fans, and it's going to be a lot of fun." '

The Phillies last hosted an NLCS game on Oct. 23, 2010, a 3-2 loss in Game 5 to the Giants. Juan Uribe hit a series-clinching homer in the eighth off Ryan Madson to ultimately put an end to the Phils' postseason run that year. Obviously, the raucous crowd will hope for a different result this time at Citizens Bank Park. 

The Phillies will rely on Ranger Suarez on Friday night. The lefty has sputtered as of late, surrendering a career-high five walks over 3 1/3 innings in his previous outing during the NL Division Series against Atlanta. His final outing of the regular season was also a bit concerning as Houston tagged him for six runs on seven hits over three innings. 

"The start against Atlanta was not Ranger-esque, but I think he was a little bit amped up because of the playoff game," Thomson said. "I think he'll be better [Friday], especially in front of our fans." 

Suarez faced the Padres at Petco Park earlier this year, surrendering just two runs over eight-plus innings. Earlier success isn't necessarily a precursor to future success, and Suarez knows that. 

"That (wasn’t) the same team as they are now," Suarez said. "They didn’t have (Juan) Soto. They didn’t have (then injured Manny) Machado. And (Josh) Bell wasn’t there, either. So my plan tomorrow is to attack them, just attack the strike zone.” 

The Padres will have Joe Musgrove on the bump in Game 3. The 29-year-old has been outstanding this postseason, surrendering just two earned runs over 13 innings to go along with 13 strikeouts. He faced the Phillies in San Diego in June, surrendering six runs in six innings in a 6-2 loss. 

"We had some good success against him in San Diego," said Rhys Hoskins. "I've said this multiple times throughout this playoff run, but we kept him in the strike zone then. I don't know how many walks there were, but multiple walks, not too many strikeouts. 

"Yeah, we'll have to make adjustments. We'll obviously use the information that we have and can gather from the last couple starts against two pretty good offenses. But getting this guy in the strike zone with the couple elite breaking balls that he has is going to be key tonight."

Game 4 Pitching Plan
Thomson was not willing to name a starter on Friday for Saturday's Game 4 at Citizens Bank Park; his need and usage of pitchers in Game 3 will dictate his decision.

Company With Murderers Row
Courtesy of the Phillies pregame notes: Since Oct. 1, 2008, the Phillies are 18-7 at home in the postseason with a .720 winning-percentage and a +62 run differential. The only other team in history with a better run differential at home over 25 games in the postseason was the Yankees at +63 from Oct. 7, 1927 - Oct. 1, 1947. 

Phillies Lineup 
Schwarber 7 
Hoskins 3 
Realmuto 2 
Harper DH 
Castellanos 9 
Bohm 5 
Stott 6 
Segura 4 
Marsh 8 
Suarez LHP
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Philadelphia Baseball Review - Phillies News, Rumors and Analysis