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Go go power Ranger: Phillies 3, Pirates 0

Ranger Suarez’s shutout lifted the Phillies to victory

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies desperately needed a good start out of Ranger Suarez. They were hoping for at least seven innings to preserve their overworked bullpen. What they got were nine of the most efficient innings the Phillies have seen this year, as they topped the Pirates 3-0 for their fifth win in a row.

The previous four games of the winning streak were victories of the come-from-behind variety. As the 3-0 score would indicate, a comeback was not necessary this time around. They scored first thanks to another young player who’s excelling given a chance.

The Phillies took the advice of this site, and batted Matt Vierling at leadoff. And it actually worked out well! Vierling was on base three times including this:

Perhaps inspired by his young teammate, Bryce Harper also put one into the seats later that inning.

Brad Miller added an insurance run with an RBI single in the fifth, but honestly, Suarez didn’t need it. He only allowed four hits, and erased two of them via double plays. He completed all nine inning with just 97 pitches.

The Phillies will go for the sweep tomorrow. Unfortunately, they’ll have to rely on a bullpen game. The specter of Phillies relievers being forced to pitch nine innings is always daunting, but thanks to the efforts of Suarez, they’ll at least be well rested.