Suárez Will Take the Ball as Phillies Head to First-ever Game 7
The Phillies desperately needed to clinch the National League Championship Series.
The Phillies handed the ball to the one cool, collected pitcher that they really trusted: Ranger Suárez. They gave him the ball and it took just two pitches to clinch the National League Pennant for the Phillies.
That was 2022. 2023 is going to come down to the man who secured it for the 2022 Phillies: Suárez.
After a 5-1 defeat to the Arizona Diamondbacks in game 6, the Phillies will have to head to the first-ever game 7 in MLB postseason history.
That's right: the Philadelphia Phillies franchise has never played in a postseason game 7.
Is it time to worry?
On NBC Sports Philadelphia's Phillies Postgame Live, former Phillies closer Ricky Bottalico "There's a game 7. You know, things aren't over. Everything isn't doom and gloom right now, so I'm not playing that game and you shouldn't be playing that game at home. At least not yet."
In Game 6, the story is that the Phillies offense did not show up.
Nick Castellanos, a hero of earlier Postseason play, ended the night on a 0-for-19 clip. In game 6, Kyle Schwarber, Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, and Castellanos combined for zero hits.
That will not make a difference.
The Phillies were heavy favorites in game 3. Brandon Pfaat will once again take the mound for the Diamondbacks. Despite a 3-9 record and 5.62 ERA in the regular season, Pfaadt quieted the Phillies in Game 3, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing no runs and just two hits.
Will this Brandon Pfaadt reappear? Will the offense who faced him reappear?
Meanwhile, Suárez will be coming off of a stellar game 3 of his own. Suárez allowed no runs himself, allowing three hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings. Suárez has a 0.64 ERA in Postseason play in 2023.
After the game, Phillies manager Rob Thomson indicated that ace Zack Wheeler could be available for Game 7 on Tuesday. Wheeler won Game 1 and Game 5 for the Phillies and would start Game 1 of the World Series.
Reliable relievers Jeff Hoffman and Jose Alvarado will also be available. Neither pitcher worked in Game 6.
So on paper, the Phillies have the advantage in terms of pitching. Will the bats show up? The numbers indicate that they probably will not be quiet once again. But if they do, the Phillies could be heading to the World Series.
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