It’s Game 3 of the World Series. Its Halloween. Phillies fans, World Series and Halloween on the same night? The atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park could be crazy. Although, on the other hand, the fans of the Phillies have not stopped enjoying themselves since Rhys Hoskins threw his bat on the ground after hitting a three-run home run in Game 3 of the National League Division Series.
The Phillies and Astros split the first two games of the World Series. The Phillies took the Game 1 with 6-5 board, thanks to one of the greatest comebacks in World Series history. The Astros took the Game 2 for 5-2reminding everyone why they won 106 games in the regular season, scoring five runs (four earned) in five innings against Zack Wheeler.
In best-of-seven postseason series that are tied 1-1, the Game 3 winner ended up taking the series 68 of 98 times (69% of the time).
Here are three keys to the Phillies taking control of the series in Philadelphia:
It was great news for the Phillies to win the NLCS in five games, as that allowed them to start with Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, although later the pair of rights ended up allowing 10 runs (nine earned). in 9.1 innings. The Phillies now need that Noah Syndergaard and the Venezuelan ranger suarez make solid starts, which is no guarantee considering Syndergaard has pitched just 1 1/3 innings since starting on Oct. 15 and Suarez hasn’t started since NLCS Game 3 on Oct. 21.
What can you ask to win one? Well, in Syndergaard’s case, three shutout innings in Game 3 would be fantastic. He allowed a three-inning hairline in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Braves on Oct. 15. It was a tremendous job in the duel that decided the series. The Phillies would be happy with something like that, too.
In Suarez’s case, five innings in Game 4 would be a blessing. Suarez worked in relief in Game 1 of the World Series, so it’s not clear how many pitches or innings he might throw Tuesday. He pitched 3.1 acts in NLDS Game 1 on October 11 and five innings in NLCS Game 3 on October 21.
If the Phillies can win one or possibly two of those games, then they would have Nola in Game 5 and Wheeler in Game 6, if necessary.
2. Keep pressing the right buttons
Phillies manager Rob Thomson has been making wise decisions throughout the postseason. He sometimes does it without doing anything (for example, not moving Kyle Schwarber or Hoskins out of the 1-2 spots, despite everything the fans complained about during the first four games of the playoffs). Thomsom has done a terrific job managing his bullpen. That could be using Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez for extra outs in innings seven, eight and nine, or being super aggressive bringing in Alvarado in the fifth and Suarez in the seventh of Game 1 of the World Series.
Syndergaard and Suarez are unlikely to go very far in Games 3 and 4, so it will be more important than ever for Thomson and pitching coach Caleb Cotham to pick the right pitchers at the right times. And of course, that the pitchers respond.
3. Keep the public involved
Forgive us St. Louis, Atlanta, San Diego and Houston, but fans in those stadiums have been quiet compared to Citizens Bank Park this month. The Phillies are 21-9 (.700) in the postseason at home. It’s the best postseason home record for any team at any park (minimum 20 games). It’s better than the Mets at Shea Stadium (26-13, .667) and the Cardinals at Busch Stadium II (35-18, .660).
And what can the Phillies do to keep the crowd a factor? First, don’t let the Astros take an early lead and hold it. (The Phillies began to close the 5-0 deficit in the fourth inning of Game 1.) One or two big hits can get the crowd going. A bombshell from Bryce Harper, Schwarber, Hoskins (or anyone, really) would also go a long way.
The Phillies’ home advantage is a real thing. A Braves player told Hoskins in the NLDS that he had never seen Citizens Bank Park like this. In the 2008 World Series, Jayson Werth told a similar story about a Tampa Bay player. Werth said he knew the Rays didn’t have a chance.
The Tampa Bay players had Philadelphia on their minds.
“Now comes Philly,” warned Nick Castellanos.
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Three keys for the Phillies to take control of the World Series