We all knew Spencer Strider was going to pitch in Game 3. What we didn’t know was when, and for how long.
Half of that question has now been answered.
It has been 26 days since Strider last appeared in a game, ironically, in a 5-2 win over the Phillies in Atlanta back on September 18. In that start he went six innings and gave up just one run on one hit, with three walks and 10 strikeouts, continuing a trend of dominance over the Phils this year.
Strider injured his left oblique in that start, forcing him out of the rotation for the final three weeks of the season, and it’s unclear how long manager Brian Snitker will use him this afternoon. He’s unlikely to go more than 2-3 innings, and Phillies hitters can only hope there will be some early rust to shake off.
The shorter his outing, the better. Strider went 4-0 against Philadelphia with a 1.27 ERA in 4 games (3 starts), pitching 21.1 innings with 34 Ks (!!!), 7 BBs, and just 7 hits allowed.
Alec Bohm is 3-for-9 vs. Strider. All other Phillies on the NLDS roster combined are 2-for-52 (.038) with 29 K's.— Paul Casella (@Paul_CasellaMLB) October 14, 2022
Of course, this is Strider's 1st start in almost a month -- so we'll see how effective he can be. https://t.co/SsaSQjoYKL
The Phillies desperately need their offense to show up in Game 3, no matter who is pitching. In Games 1 and 2 of the wild card round vs. St. Louis and in Game 2 on Wednesday, the Phils scored runs in just three out of a possible 27 innings, although one of them was that miraculous 9th in Game 1 of the NLWCS.
In four postseason games they’re hitting just .195 as a team with 10 extra base hits and one lonely homer, Bryce Harper’s decisive solo shot in Game 2 of the NLWCS. Only the Guardians (.275 in 3 games), Cardinals (.246 in 2 games) and Rays (.154 in 2 games) have a lower slugging percentage than the Phils’ .293. Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins are a combined 1-for-34 at the top of the lineup, a trend that cannot continue if the Phils are going to knock off the defending world champs.
Aaron Nola takes the mound for the Phillies in Game 3, their Game 4 starter is undecided. The Phils are 16-17 in Nola’s 33 starts this year, including Game 2 against the Cardinals, and have not had a winning record in a single season in Nola starts since 2019.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of Continued Success with Justin Klugh of Baseball Prospectus and Liz Roscher of Yahoo! Sports as they discuss playoff baseball coming back to Philly this weekend. Are the Braves ready for it? Are the Phils?