World Series score: Phillies top Astros in Game 3 as Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber lead home run barrage

World Series score: Phillies top Astros in Game 3 as Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber lead home run barrage

Game 3 was worth the wait for the Philadelphia Phillies. After rain forced the postponement of Game 3 on Monday, the Phillies and Houston Astros were able to resume the World Series on Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park, with the Phillies hitting five home runs in a 7-0 victory (box score). They lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. For the championship, there are two away wins for Philadelphia.

Interestingly, the Phillies didn’t get an at-bat with a runner in scoring position until the sixth inning, after they had already built a 7-0 lead. Bryce Harper opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the first, and the Phillies kept piling on from there against Lance McCullers Jr. The Phillies are a perfect 6-0 at home this postseason.

Here are some takeaways from Game 3 of the World Series.

1. Harper gave the Phillies the lead (again)

Before Game 3, the last pitch Harper saw at Citizens Bank Park sailed over the left field wall for a two-run home run in the eighth inning of NLCS Game 5. That was the pennant winning homer. And on the first pitch Harper saw in Game 3, he hit a two-run homer to right field. Back-to-back homers at home.

McCullers’ reaction tells you all you need to know:

“I’m just trying to get a good comment,” Harper said during an interview with Fox (video). “We faced (McCullers) at the end of the year and saw him pretty well. That’s a good team over there, so it’s a big possibility that we hit first.”

The home run was Harper’s sixth of the postseason and his fourth run-scoring homer this October. Only Albert Pujols has hit more home runs in a single postseason. He had five in 2004. The Astros did well to limit Harper in Games 1 and 2 (2 for 8 with two singles and a walk), but it was only a matter of time before he hit one of those game-changing swings. It came early in Game 3.

2. Bohm hit a homer

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the 1,000th home run in World Series history. Alec Bohm paid tribute:

The first home run in World Series history was hit in Game 1 of the 1903 World Series, when Jimmy Sebring of the Pittsburgh Pirates drove Cy Young of the Boston Americans deep. Cy Young, huh? I can’t get any more brand names than that. Tuesday’s Game 3 was the first time in World Series history that a team hit three home runs in the first two innings, if you can believe that.

It should be noted that prior to Bohm’s at-bat, Harper called him over to the dugout fence to impart some wisdom. Bohm wouldn’t reveal what Harper told him during the interview (why would he?), but Bryce has a reputation for being one of the best in the game at finding subtle words in pitching. Is it possible that McCullers reversed his pitches in Game 3?

3. McCullers had a historically bad night

The Phillies were far from over after Harper and Bohm hit home runs. Brandon Marsh (solo), Kyle Schwarber (two runs) and Rhys Hoskins (solo) drove in McCullers deep later in the game to give Philadelphia a 7-0 lead. McCullers is the first pitcher in history to allow five home runs in a World Series game. Here’s the strikeout homer that put the game out of reach:

McCullers had never allowed more than three homers in his career before Game 3. The Philadelphia lefty saw 34 points off the Houston righty, hit three homers and swung and missed just once. The Phillies are the second team ever to have five different players go deep into a World Series game, joining the Astros in 2017 (Game 5).

To be fair to McCullers, he probably shouldn’t have been in the game in the fifth inning, and definitely not after Marsh hit one out. He went through the lineup twice, looked shaky most of the night, and the Astros were still very much in the game at 4-0. McCullers stayed in, Schwarber and Hoskins hit back-to-back bombs, and suddenly the game was out of reach.

4. Suárez was excellent

Ranger Suarez’s performance should not be forgotten amid the home run barrage. The 27-year-old southpaw fired five innings against the powerhouse Astros and allowed just four of the 19 batters he faced to hit the ball out of bounds (just three on the fly). Seven pitches, four strikeouts, four singles and a walk were allowed.

Houston has two great opportunities against Suarez. They put runners on the corners with two outs in the second inning, but Suárez grounded out to Chas McCormick for the third strike. They then put runners on first and second with two outs in the fifth, but Jose Altuve grounded out and popped out in four outs. Suarez was cool, calm and composed, and got the big outs when needed.

After Schwarber and Hoskins opened the game in the fifth inning, Phillies manager Rob Thomson was able to go to his second basemen to get the win. Connor Brogdon got the sixth inning, Kyle Gibson the seventh, Nick Nelson the eighth and Andrew Bellatti finished the ninth. José Alvarado and Seranthony Domínguez (and Zack Eflin and David Robertson) got the night off and will be well rested for Games 4 and 5. It’s a win within a win. Initial victory.

5. The Phillies dominated at home

The Fightin’ Phils are now a perfect 6-0 at Citizens Bank Park this October and have outscored their opponents 17-6 — 17-6! — in six games. No team had ever hit more than 15 homers in a six-game span in a single postseason before these Phillies in 2022. How about that? The Phillies have outscored their opponents 42-15 in six postseason home games. 42 is in charge, but 15 works out to 2.50 runs allowed per game. That is great.

6. Up Next

Game 4 Historically, when the best-of-seven is tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 has won the series a good 69 percent of the time. That’s good news for the Phillies. Game 4 is Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Game 1 starter Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA) and righty Cristian Javier (11-9, 2.94 ERA) are the projected starting pitchers.

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