Ranger Suarez and the Phillies
It'll be Ranger Suarez's turn in the spotlight on Tuesday afternoon in Game 1 of the National League Division Series as the Phillies open a best-of-five series in Atlanta against the Braves. 

"Ever since I was a kid, I've been dreaming about this moment," Suarez said on Monday through an interpreter at Truist Park. "So to have the opportunity [Tuesday], knowing that the team trusts me enough to do this, it's very special to me, and it means a lot to me." 

Suarez went 10-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts this season, including a 3.14 ERA over his final 15 starts. He faced the Braves five times during the regular season, posting a 1-2 record with a 3.21 ERA. 

"I faced them a couple times in the regular season," Suarez said. "I know they're a really good team. That's no secret there. But I try not to think too much about that challenge because that's why we're at this stage of the year. It's going to be a tough battle. But it's something that I try not to think too much about." 

Starting pitching propelled the Phillies past the Cardinals in the Wild Card round; Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola were outstanding. Suarez hopes to follow with a solid performance of his own as two aces isn't likely enough to navigate through the end of October. 

"Watching Wheeler and Nola do their thing in St. Louis was incredible," Suarez said. "I love how they go about their business. Something that I learn from them all the time is how they attack hitters. It's just amazing how they do it." 

The Braves counter in Game 1 with Max Fried. The 28-year-old left-hander pieced together another solid season, posting a 14-7 record with a 2.48 ERA. He faced the Phils four times during the regular season, going 0-1 while posting a 3.13 ERA. 

"It starts with Max tomorrow," said Rhys Hoskins. "I think the biggest thing I've seen from Max over my years facing him is just the growth in his pitch arsenal and the confidence he has really in throwing any pitch in any zone. Incredible stuff. A high-octane fastball that gets on you even though it's already 95, 96. Obviously the big breaking curveball. But he's added a slider, a change-up. He sinks the ball a little bit now instead of it just being a riding four-seamer. That's tough. 

"When a guy can do multiple things with the fastball keep you off balance in multiple ways it can be tough. We'll try to keep him in the zone tomorrow. Usually attacks you pretty well but just with the multitude of the stuff that he has, many different layers to it, we'll have to be disciplined getting him in the zone tomorrow."
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