GAME THREE: Philadelphia is looking to take a 3-0 lead after taking both Games 1 and 2 back in South Philly earlier this week…Arizona is looking for its first win of the series. Teams that have taken a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven Postseason series have gone on to win the series 37-of38 times (97.4%), including 15-of-16 times in the LCS (93.8%)…the only team to take a 3-0 series lead and lose a seven-game series is the 2004 Yankees (ALCS vs. Boston). Teams that win Game 3 after falling behind 2-0 in a seven-game Postseason series have gone on to win the series 13-of-50 times (26%)…the last NL team to win Game 3 of a best-of-seven series after losing the first two and go on to win the series was the Dodgers vs. Atlanta in the 2020 NLCS…research courtesy of Elias. Tonight marks Arizona’s second home game this Postseason…they won the Wild Card series by taking both games in Milwaukee, played two of their three games in the NLDS in Los Angeles and played the first two games of this NLCS in Philadelphia. In their only home game thus far (NLCS Game 3 vs. LAD), Arizona downed the Dodgers 4-2 to sweep the NLDS (3-0) and advance to the NLCS.
LOOKING TO GO BIG: In their 10 previous NLCS appearances the Phillies have only jumped out to a 2-0 series lead one other time besides this year, which occurred in the 2008 NLCS vs. the Dodgers. The Phillies went on to not only advance to the World Series but also win it in 2008..
Philadelphia is 4-6 all-time in their 10 previous NLCS Game 3 contests.
IT STARTS WITH ONE: Arizona finds itself in an 0-2 hole in the series as it shifts to Chase Field today. Arizona has lost six straight LCS games dating to 2007…they lost the first two games of this series and were swept in the 2007 NLCS by Colorado. The Diamondbacks last win in an NLCS came in Game 5 of the 2001 NLCS when Randy Johnson bested Tom Glavine as the D-Backs defeated the Braves 3-2 to advance to the World Series. Arizona is 1-1 in their previous two NLCS Game 3s…this is their first NLCS Game 3 at home with the other two coming on the road.
HOMERS APLENTY: With three more homers Tuesday night, Philadelphia has 19 this Postseason to lead all teams. Philadelphia’s 19 homers this Postseason are the third-most by any team through its first eight Postseason games within a single Postseason…only the 2021 Red Sox (20) and 2004 Astros (20) hit more through their first eight games. For reference below is the list through a team’s first tine Postseason games. Of the Phillies 19 homers this Postseason, 16 have been solo shots including each of their last 13 home runs…the last time they hit a homer with runners on was Bryce Harper in Game 3 of the NLDS vs. Atlanta (a three-run shot off Bryce Elder in the 3rd). The Fightins have out-homered their opponents 19-4 (+15)…that would be the highest homer differential in a single Postseason in MLB history. Arizona saw its 17-game home run streak in the Postseason come to an end…it goes down as the second-longest home run streak in MLB Postseason history. Despite being held without a homer, the D-Backs 14 homers this Postseason are tied for second-most of any team with Houston. Arizona’s 14 homers this Postseason are the most they’ve hit in a single Postseason in team history, already three more than they hit to their run to a World Series Championship in 2001 (11).
CHASING DUBS: While the Phillies have enjoyed much success at Citizens Bank Park during the Postseason over the year, Chase Field has also proved to be a winning formula for the D-Backs during Postseason play. As mentioned previously, Arizona has only played one home game this Postseason that resulted in a 4-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLDS.
All-Time Postseason Home Win % By Ballpark (min. 20g)
Team Home Stadium Record (Win. %)
Philadelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park 28-11 (.718)
New York Mets Shea Stadium 26-13 (.667)
St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium III 35-18 (.660)
Arizona Diamondbacks Chase Field 14-8 (.636)
In LCS play, however, the Diamondbacks are 1-3 at Chase Field…their lone LCS win here was Game 1 of the 2001 NLCS vs. Atlanta on October 16, 2011. At home this year during the regular season, the D-Backs were 43-38 (.531), tied for ninth best home win % in the National League with the Mets. But dating to August 12, Arizona is 16-7 in its last 23 home games including the one Postseason win vs. the Dodgers…they have a 113-87 (+26 run differential) in that span at home.
PITCH PERFECT?: Through their first eight Postseason contests Phillies pitchers have been nearly flawless, posting a 1.39 ERA (11er, 71.0ip).
The 1.39 ERA through their first eight Postseason games is the second-lowest by any team through its first eight Postseason contests in Postseason history…only the 1983 Orioles (1.23) had a lower ERA through their first eight playoff games. Philadelphia has allowed 13 runs this Postseason (only 11 are earned)…the 13 runs allowed are the fewest all-time through eight games of a single Postseason. Fightins starters have a 1.55 ERA (8er, 46.1ip) with a whopping 51 strikeouts to just four walks…they have not walked a batter in their last three games (17.0innings)… the last walk a Phillies starter permitted was in Game 3 of the NLDS vs. Atlanta.
2023 POSTSEASON TIDBITS
So far this Postseason there have been 13 playoff games that have finished in under three hours. From 2017-2022 there were 15 total Postseason games under three hours…in 2016 there were seven and in 2015 there were nine. The average game time this Postseason is 2:59…in 2022 it was 3:22. Scoring first and out-homering your opponent seems to be a recipe for success this Postseason. Teams that have scored first this Postseason are 20-7. Teams that out-homer their opponents are 17-3 this Postseason. There have been many, many homers. Of the 207 runs that have been scored by all teams so far this Postseason, 106 have come via the homer (51.2%). For comparison’s sake, during last year’s postseason only 46.8% of all runs scored came via the homer.
NLCS GAME 3 STARTING PITCHERS
RANGER SUÁREZ LHP
2023 REGULAR SEASON: 4-6, 4.18 ERA
2023 POSTSEASON: 1-0, 1.04 ERA
HOP IN THE ‘RANGE: Today’s outing marks Suárez third start this Postseason and sixth in his Postseason career. Suárez last pitched seven days ago in the Phils’ clincher over the Braves in Game 4 of the NLDS, spinning 5.0 innings of one-run ball in Philadelphia’s 3-1 win. His first start this Postseason came in Game 1 of the NLDS at Atlanta, working 3.2 innings while striking out four in a scoreless effort…Philly also won that game 3-0.
POSTER CHILD: Like most members of this Phillies staff, all of Suárez playoff experience has come here with the Phils over the last two years.
In seven career Postseason appearances (five starts), Suárez boasts a 3-0 mark with a 1.16 ERA (3er, 23.1ip)…he’s struck out 19 and walked seven in those 23.1 Postseason innings He’s been used as a starter this Postseason after appearing as both a starter and reliever last Postseason. Regardless of role, the Phillies have won all seven games that he’s pitched in (5-0 in his starts and 2-0 in his relief outings) during the Postseason. In the Wild Card Era (since 1995) the only other pitcher to make at least five Postseason starts and have his team win them all is Ryan Vogelsong with SF (the Giants were 7-0 in his outings).
2023 CAMPAIGN: Was 4-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 22 starts for the Phillies this year during the regular season. The 28-year-old did miss some time this year, opening the year on the Injured List and having two stays there overall this season.
LOVE THE CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST?: Suárez had much better numbers away from Citizens Bank Park this season, posting a 2.75 ERA in 10 starts on the road. Philly went 7-3 in his 10 road starts this year…he allowed two runs or fewer and pitched at least 6.0 innings six different times on the road this season.
AGAINST THE D-BACKS: Hasn’t fared well against the D-Backs in his career, going 1-3 with a 5.09 ERA (20er, 35.1ip) in nine games (six starts).
Had arguably his best road start of the year on June 14 at Chase Field vs. Arizona, twirling 7.0 shutout innings and striking out seven in the Phils 4-3 win in 10 innings. Even with that outing, Suárez has a 4.32 ERA (13er, 16.2ip) in five games (three starts) lifetime here in AZ.
BRANDON PFAADT RHP
2023 REGULAR SEASON: 3-9, 5.72 ERA
2023 POSTSEASON: 0-0, 3.86 ERA
THE ROOK: Pfaadt (pronounced fought) is slated to make his third start of this Postseason tonight in Game 3. Pfaadt kicked off Arizona’s Postseason by starting Game 1 of the Wild Card series at Milwaukee…allowed three runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings before being taken out.
Fared much better eight days ago in his last start (Game 3 of the NLDS vs. the Dodgers)…worked 4.1 scoreless innings, allowed two hits and struck out two here at Chase Field. Newly minted 25-year old celebrated his 25th birthday four days ago on October 15.
2023 CAMPAIGN: Pfaadt’s season began in Triple-A Reno with the Aces where he made five starts before being called up to Arizona for his MLB debut on May 3 at Texas. He spent the entire month of May in the D-Backs rotation (8.37 ERA in five starts) before going back to Triple-A.
Was recalled again for a spot start on June 29 before going back to AAA…rejoined Arizona on July 22 and spent the rest of the year with the D-Backs. Had a 5.72 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) at the Major League level this year…his ERA looked a bit better after his final recall, posting a 4.22 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) after July 22.
FOREVER YOUNG: Pfaadt is taking the mound today at 25 years, 4 days old…after tonight’s start he’ll hold three of the four youngest Postseason starts by a D-Backs pitcher in team history. The only pitcher in Arizona history to start a Postseason game that was younger that Pfaadt has been this year was Daniel Hudson, who started Game 2 of the 2011 NLDS at 24 years, 207 days.
AGAINST THE PHILLIES: Is facing the Phillies for the first time in his Major League career.
TROUBLE WITH THE LONG BALL: Pfaadt surrendered 22 homers in 96.0 innings at the Major League level during the regular season. Among pitchers who pitched at least 90.0 innings in MLB this season, Pfaadt’s 5.2 HR% was fourth-highest in the Majors behind Lance Lynn (5.4%), Chris Flexen
(5.4%) and Tyler Wells (5.3%). However he allowed only one homer here at Chase Field after August 1 (24.2 innings).
WHO ARE YOU, WHO WHO?: Pfaadt entered the 2023 season as Arizona’s fourth-best prospect according to both The Athletic and MLB Pipeline…Baseball America had him as Arizona’s fifth-best prospect. Among the Top-100 prospect rankings entering the season, The Athletic had Pfaadt at #38 overall, MLB Pipeline had him at #59 and Baseball America tabbed him at #26. Originally a fifth-round pick in 2020 by the D-Backs out of Bellarmine University (Louisville, KY).