Game three of the World Series proved worth the wait. After rain caused a one-day postponement, the Phillies wasted no time in establishing dominance. Bryce Harper’s first inning home run was one of five smacked by the Phillies’ offense, starting pitcher Ranger Suarez pitched five superb innings, and the bullpen chipped in four shutout innings of their own. The result was a 7-0 demolition of the Houston Astros, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the World Series.
This game was controlled by the Phillies from the very start. The very first pitch thrown by Suarez resulted in another now-signature sliding catch by Nick Castellanos. Suarez’s second pitch resulted in a ground out. It took him a few more pitches to retire Yordan Alvarez, but that at bat eventually ended with a strikeout.
Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr.’s first inning was not as successful. With one runner on and two outs, he faced Bryce Harper and Harper didn’t miss.
BRYCE BOMB— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) November 2, 2022
WORLD SERIES EDITION pic.twitter.com/OcRG3k404D
Perhaps more importantly, Harper was seen saying something to Alec Bohm. This led to speculation that McCullers might have been tipping his pitches.
Lance McCullers tipping pitches? https://t.co/UfoyEGPj3H— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) November 2, 2022
McCullers probably hopes he was tipping his pitches, because he delivered arguably the worst start in World Series history.
Lance McCullers Jr. is now the first pitcher in MLB history to allow 5 home runs in a single World Series game. pic.twitter.com/aICQkz0zUn— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 2, 2022
The Phillies certainly gave him more than just the tip. Do you want to see the rest of those home runs? Of course you do!
Bryce Harper called Alec Bohm back before his at-bat to tell him something.— MLB (@MLB) November 2, 2022
Bohm hit the first pitch he saw out of the park. #WorldSeries pic.twitter.com/bep547w2KL
Brandon Marsh is youngest Phillie to play in World Series since Cole Hamels in 2008— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) November 2, 2022
Kyle Schwarber (with bonus French announcing!):
As called on French television: pic.twitter.com/FzgeTqbR2d— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 2, 2022
And finally, Rhys Hoskins:
PHILS GO BACK-TO-BACK!— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) November 2, 2022
RHYS HOSKINS JUST KEEPS DELIVERING IN PHILLY pic.twitter.com/wGme5UuRAG
Maybe McCullers was tipping his pitches, but perhaps there was a simpler explanation:
The Astros really thought a guy named Lance was going to come into Citizens Bank Park and not get lit up— Smarty Jones - Playoff Edition (@TheSmartyJones) November 2, 2022
Seven runs of support meant the Phillies got to stay away from Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado, who will almost assuredly be needed in the next two days. Instead, after Suarez completed his five innings, Conor Brogdon, Kyle Gibson, Nick Nelson, and Andrew Bellatti all chipped in scoreless innings of their own.
The bad news is that as dominating as the performance was, it only counts for one win. The good news is that the next two games will be at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies have yet to lose a game since these playoffs began. And based on how they played in game three, it doesn’t look like they’re planning to lose there again.
Two wins to go!