Back in Philly, World Series set to resume tonight after rain out

by Jacob Fuller

Rob Issa, FISM News


The World Series returned to Philadelphia for the first time in 13 years and rain made everyone wait an extra day.

Game 3 between the Houston Astros and the Phillies was postponed Monday, pushing the series back one day. The teams split the two games in Houston, making Tuesday night’s game a pivotal one.

The Phillies moved left-hander Ranger Suarez up to start instead of Noah Syndergaard. The Astros are sticking with right-hander Lance McCullers Jr.

“It’s part of the game. You can’t control the weather, so you just deal with it,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said.

Rain in Philly in October is nothing new for the World Series.

Game 3 of the 2008 series was delayed several hours and the clinching Game 5 actually took three days to play. The Phillies and Tampa Bay were tied when the game was suspended and it resumed two days later. That was the last time Philadelphia won the World Series.

In both 1993 and 2009, Game 3 was delayed in Philadelphia.

The Phillies are looking to regain the series lead after a thrilling, comeback win in extra innings in Game 1 in Houston on Friday night. After the Astros jumped ahead 5-0 against Aaron Nola, the Phillies rallied off Houston ace Justin Verlander. J.T. Realmuto hit a tying, two-run double and a go-ahead solo homer in the 10th inning to win it.

The Astros bounced back against Phillies ace Zack Wheeler on Saturday, scoring five runs off the hard-throwing righty in a 5-2 victory.

Phillies manager Rob Thomson is eager to play in front of the home fans again. The Phillies are 5-0 at Citizens Bank Park this postseason.

“It’s something that truthfully I’ve never experienced,” Thomson said. “I mean, it’s so loud. It goes from the first pitch to the last pitch. There’s so much energy that it just energizes our players and motivates them, and I think it’s just a huge advantage for us.”

Coming home could be the boost Bryce Harper needs to produce another big moment on the biggest stage. The two-time NL MVP hit the go-ahead homer in Philadelphia’s clinching win over San Diego in the National League Championship Series. He had two singles in the series opener but was 0-for-4 in Game 2.

Harper is batting .392 (20-for-51) with six doubles, five homers, and 11 RBIs in this postseason for the Phillies. He’s enjoyed being a fan favorite in Philadelphia after being a villain during his first seven seasons in the majors with the Washington Nationals.

“I loved walking in as an opposing player knowing that I was going to get absolutely blasted by these fans, and it was what it was, and I loved it,” he said. “It made me want to come here and play because I knew how much they cared. I knew how much they love their players and how much passion and how much drive they all have.

“And everybody talks about the blue-collarness of this city and the fight that they have, and it just rubs off on all of us. I’ve said it multiple times. We have 46,000 people in this stadium, it’s 46,026 because we’re all in this together. No matter where they’re at, who they are, where they come from, if you’ve got Phillies across your chest and you’re a fan, you’re part of our team. You’re part of our organization, and you fight with us each day.”

Verlander got a taste of the fans when he arrived on the team bus and was greeted with some harsh words. He responded by giving the fans a middle finger.

After a fan posted the video on Twitter, Verlander replied: “Whole interaction was in jest as all the fans around you were just saying hello in their native tongue. So I responded in kind. ?? ?? all in good fun. I enjoyed the banter. Also, nobody broke the window.”