Well, I suppose it was a newsworthy day on the South Side. Multiple sources have reported that Pedro Grifol has been hired as the 41st manager of the Chicago White Sox. Yipee.
I am uninspired, to say the least, but I’m trying to keep an open mind. That’s why they play 162 games; I keep telling myself that anyway.
Well, enough on that, and on to discussing actual, exciting baseball teams.
There have only been two World Series games in the last 22 years delayed due to weather, and yesterday’s Game 3 was the third. With no rain, sleet, snow, or hail on the radar tonight, the Astros and Phillies played ball without issue. The Phils were banking on the home-field energy to push them ahead in the series, 2-1.
The Astros sent Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound, hoping to steal a road win for Houston. The Phillies offense had other plans, and they had ZERO trouble seeing McCullers. Philadelphia hit three home runs in its first nine at-bats, and had a total of five for the night. McCullers struggled badly, and only pitched 4 1⁄3 innings, surrendering seven runs on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. There was some chatter about that McCullers was tipping his pitches. Whatever the issue was, the Phillies hitters had his number.
McCullers’ 78-pitch outing looked like this:
Noah Syndergaard was originally scheduled to take the ball tonight; however, the postponed Game 3 allowed the Phillies to reshuffle their rotation a little better throughout the Series. So, Philadelphia handed the ball to Ranger Suárez, who last started a World Series game in 2015 against the Kansas City Royals. Suárez was magnificent, and in control of the game from the get-go. He pitched five scoreless innings, surrendered only three hits and one walk, and struck out four. He walked away with the win, and lowered his ERA to 1.23.
Suárez’s 76-pitch outing looked like this:
The squeeze was pretty much on the Astros all night, but in a blowout the pressure comes early, then disappears. So, the most pressure came when Chas McCormick struck out looking in the top of the second inning with runners on first and third and two outs. The play had an LI of 1.78.
Phillies pitcher Ranger Suárez felt the heat tonight with the highest pLI, at just 0.64.
Bryce Harper’s no-doubter, two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning had a .186 WPA.
Ranger Suárez was the game’s top performer. His pitching was laser-focused tonight, with a .200 WPA.
Hardest hit: Kyle Schwarber homered on a shot to center field in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring Brandon Marsh. The home run had an exit velocity of 113.2 mph.
Weakest contact: Jean Segura’s soft ground out to third baseman Alex Bregman in the bottom of the fifth inning was lobbed at 47.2 mph.
Luckiest hit: Brandon Marsh’s home run in the bottom of the second inning had to be reviewed, as his fly ball to right center field barely made it out — and had a .070 xBA.
Toughest out: Everyone’s favorite second baseman, slumping José Altuve, led off the game with a line out to right fielder Nick Castellanos, who made an incredible sliding catch. The play had a .560 xBA.
Longest hit: Kyle Schwarber’s home-run blast off of McCullers in the fifth inning went 443 feet to center field.
Magic Number: 1,000
Alex Bohm led off the second inning with a home run — the 1,000th home run in World Series history.
Hard-hit is any ball off the bat at 95 mph or more
LI measures pressure per play
pLI measures total pressure faced in-game
Whiff a swing-and-miss
WPA win probability added measures contributions to the win
xBA expected batting average
Who was the MVP in Game 3 of the WS?
This poll is closed
Lance McCullers, Jr. for tipping pitches
Kyle Schwarber: 2-for-3, HR, .074 WPA
Ranger Suárez: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, .200 WPA
Who was the WS Game 3 Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Lance McCullers Jr.: 4 1⁄3 IP, 6 H, 7 R, -.288 WPA
José Altuve: 0-for-4, .156 BA, -.065 WPA
Chas McCormick: 1-for-3, 2 SO, -.040 WPA