PHILADELPHIA — After earning a split in the first two games, the Philadelphia Phillies will return home to their raucous crowd where the World Series shifts for Game 3 on Monday.
The Phillies rallied from a 5-0 deficit to win 6-5 in 10 innings in Game 1 and then fell 5-2 in Game 2 Saturday.
Following an off day, the Phillies will be rested and ready with nearly 46,000 vocal supporters in the stands.
The Phillies are 5-0 at home in the postseason.
“We feel like it’s another element that a visiting team is going to have to go through,” Kyle Schwarber said of the passionate fan base. “They have been great through this whole postseason.”
The Phillies have fallen behind 5-0 in the first two games on the road.
“I just can’t wait to go out there Monday and keep it going,” Jean Segura said. “Our fans will be ready.”
In Game 3, the Phillies will hand the ball to Noah Syndergaard (10-10, 3.94 ERA regular season; 0-0, 1.69 ERA postseason).
Syndergaard will be making his fourth appearance in this year’s playoffs.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson said that the plan is for Syndergaard to throw between three and four innings.
“I feel like I can go for as long as they’ll allow me to,” Syndergaard said. “Now is the time to empty the tank leaving nothing out.”
“He’s a big, strong guy,” Thomson said of his starter. “It’s the World Series. We’ll see how he does, see how he is. We’ll constantly communicate with him.”
Houston will send Lance McCullers Jr. (4-2, 2.27 ERA regular season; 0-0, 2.45 ERA postseason) to the mound.
McCullers Jr. will be making his first start in the World Series since 2017 when he started Game 7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Really looking forward to experiencing the crowd,” McCullers said. “I’ve heard a lot about it. I’m a really big fan of the game, and I think it will be a great moment.”
Astros manager Dusty Baker had several options regarding the starter for Game 3.
Why go with McCullers Jr.?
“This is a very big game. I figure he can keep the ball in the ballpark pretty good with his sinker and his slider,” Baker said. “He holds runners on pretty good. Which they generally try to run a lot. Plus I think he deserved it.”
The top of the Astros lineup will look to stay hot when they open Game 3.
Jose Altuve snapped out of a maddening slump with three hits and Alex Bregman hit a clutch home run in Game 2. Altuve was 4-for-37 entering the contest.
“I think this team takes a lot of pride in going out and competing every single day and showing up with a clear head and being able to flush a bad game and move on to the next one,” said Bregman, who’s playing in his fourth World Series.
The Astros won 106 games during the regular season and they’re now three wins away from another championship, which would be their second in six years (and second ever).
“In all honesty this is probably the most fun I ever had playing baseball,” Bregman said.
- This is the third consecutive year in which the World Series is tied 1-1. It is the first time that has happened in three straight years since 1982, 1983 and 1984. In each of the past two years the Game 3 winner went on to win the series in six games.
- The Astros’ batters had only three hits in 27 first-inning at-bats of this postseason before their three consecutive doubles to start the bottom of the first inning in Game 2. Houston began a game with three straight extra-base hits twice during the 2022 regular season, including once against the Phillies (Oct. 4).
- This will be the 40th World Series game in Phillies history. That is fewer World Series games than the Athletics when they represented Philadelphia (43: first in 1905, last in 1931).
- Alex Bregman’s home run in Game 2 was the sixth World Series homer of his career (and first since Game 6 in 2019), which ranks him second among active players behind his former teammate, George Springer (seven, all for the Astros). Bregman’s career total of 17 RBI in the World Series is the highest among active players.
- The Phillies are 5-0 at Citizens Bank Park in postseason play this year (2-0 vs. Atlanta, 3-0 vs. San Diego). The only other year in which the Phillies won five or more consecutive home games at any point in the postseason was 2008, when they finished with a 7-0 home record (two wins vs. Milwaukee, two vs. the Dodgers and three vs. Tampa Bay).
- Jose Altuve had three hits in Game 2. It was Altuve’s third three-hit game in a World Series (also Game 5 in 2017 and Game 2 in 2019), which ties him with Carlos Correa, Yadier Molina and Justin Turner for the high among players active at the end of the 2022 regular season.
- Bryce Harper has swung at the first pitch in 63.0% of his postseason plate appearances this year, the highest among the 37 players with 30 or more PAs. (Nick Castellanos is second at 58.5%). Harper set a career high for first-pitch swing percentage in the 2022 regular season (50.4%). His previous high was 44.3% in 2019, his first season with the Phillies.
- Lance McCullers has made two World Series starts, Game 3 and Game 7 in 2017 against the Dodgers. McCullers won Game 3 (5.1 IP, 3 runs) but lasted 2.1 innings (no runs) in Game 7, when he set an MLB record for a postseason game by hitting four batters. In Game 4 of this year’s ALCS, McCullers became the all-time MLB postseason leader in hit batters (10) when he plunked Anthony Rizzo.
- Lance McCullers has been more effective against left-handed batters (.213 BA, .634 OPS) than right-handed batters (.238 BA, .701 OPS) during his regular-season career but the difference is much larger in his postseason career (LHB: .167/.498, RHB: .262/.821).
- Noah Syndergaard had never faced the Astros before this season when he made two starts against them for the Angels in Anaheim. He recorded a win in his Angels debut (April 9: 5.1 IP, no runs) and a no decision in a Houston win (July 12: 4.0 IP, three runs).