Ranger Suarez
The Phillies have outclassed the Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series, outscoring Arizona 15-3 over the first two games of the best-of-seven series. 

The Phillies put on a clinic in Game 2, using the long ball, some timely hitting, fantastic pitching, and outstanding defense to cruise to a 10-0 victory on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. 

The series now shifts to Phoneix and Chase Field for Game 3 on Thursday. Ranger Suarez will start for the Phillies, while the D-backs turn to rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt. 

Suarez has been fantastic for the Phils this postseason, surrendering just one run over 8 2/3 innings while issuing one walk and scattering four hits. 

"Nothing seems to bother him," said manager Rob Thomson. "When he didn't have his best stuff, it was coming off that injury. So he was still kind of building back up. Once we got towards the end of the season, he had it going on, and he's continued that through the postseason. So I always expect him to give us a good start, expect him to give us length." 

Suarez faced the Diamondbacks twice during the regular season with mixed results. He had arguably his worst outing of the season against the D-backs in late May, surrendering five runs over five innings in a contest the Phillies eventually won in extra innings. He then faced Arizona again in mid-June and pitched beautifully, tossing seven scoreless frames while collecting seven strikeouts. 

"I've been working really hard on my control, trying to control the strike zone," Suarez said prior to his Game 3 start in the NLDS against the Braves. "I like getting ahead in the count early. So I can be more effective with my pitches, you know, try to get out of the innings quick, doing as little work as possible, and that helps me go deep in the games." 

On the other side of the diamond, Pfaadt aims to get Arizona back into this series. He'll be limited to about 50 pitches though, according to D-backs skipper Torey Lovullo. The rookie tossed 4 1/3 scoreless frames against the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLDS. 

The limiting pitch count for Pfaadt, combined with a bullpen game in Game 4, means Lovullo will have to thread the needle with his relievers over the coming days to stave off elimination. 

“Everybody needs to be as good as they can possibly be,” Lovullo said. “I want everybody to do their job the best way they know how, be great at it, and not worry about the guy next to them. That's kind of one of our thoughts throughout the course of the season.” 

As for Game 4 for the Phillies, Thomson hasn't publicly named a starter. The two potential options are Taijuan Walker and Cristopher Sanchez, but neither has pitched in over two weeks. 

It's tough to imagine things going any better for Philadelphia than they are right now. 

"We've played very good defense, and we've played, what, 16 postseason games, and we've walked 15 hitters," Thomson said. "You know, we're not giving free passes. Knock on wood that we continue to do that, but those are the things that stand out to me."

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post