Ranger Suarez Shines

Ranger Suarez

This guy is untouchable. Ranger Suarez is white hot and there’s even a new Phillies fan group to support him — Ranger’s Rangers.

Ranger Suarez delivered a standout performance, striking out 10 over seven innings and improving to 9-0, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to their league-best 35th win with a 5-2 victory over the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

The Ranger Suarez incredible start to the season places him in elite company, rivaling Hall of Famers Grover Alexander and Juan Marichal. Bryce Harper hit his 11th homer of the season, contributing to the Phillies’ ninth win in 11 games and continuing one of the best starts in franchise history. The Phillies have won 35 of their first 49 games for only the second time in franchise history (1976). They are 27-6 in their last 33 games, marking the first time since at least 1901 that they have achieved such a feat.

This season, no pitcher in baseball has matched the dominance of Ranger Suarez. “He knows what it takes to win games,” Harper said. The 28-year-old lefty received a standing ovation in the seventh after striking out Leody Taveras with a 91.6 mph sinker to end the inning. Suarez took a no-decision in his first start of the season but has since won nine consecutive starts.

“I just try to throw and do the best work that I can,” Suarez said through a translator. Suarez lowered his ERA to 1.36, the third-lowest ERA by a Phillies pitcher in his first 10 starts of a season. He trails only Alexander, who had a 1.24 ERA in his first 10 starts of 1916 and a 1.31 ERA in his first 10 starts of 1915. Suarez is the first pitcher to start 9-0 with a sub-1.50 ERA through 10 starts since Marichal did it for the San Francisco Giants in 1966. He is also the first Phillies pitcher since Robin Roberts (1952) to win at least nine consecutive starts.

“It’s kind of mind-boggling, this historic run that he’s been on,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. José Alvarado pitched a scoreless ninth for his ninth save. Suarez bested the Rangers and continued to assert himself as Philadelphia’s top pitcher this season—a remarkable achievement in a rotation that includes Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Suarez walked two and allowed one run before Jeff Hoffman took over in the eighth inning. Corey Seager hit a solo homer off Hoffman in the eighth to make it 3-2. Hoffman managed only two outs before Matt Strahm retired Nathaniel Lowe on a sharp line drive to left field with two runners on, ending the inning.

This three-game series nearly served as a World Series rematch. The Rangers needed only five games to defeat Arizona and win the franchise’s first World Series—after Arizona had won Games 6 and 7 in Philadelphia to knock the Phillies out of the NL Championship Series. Ranger Suarez encountered a rare early deficit after giving up Marcus Semien’s RBI single in the third inning.

The Phillies took a 2-1 lead off Jon Gray (2-2) with Kyle Schwarber’s RBI single in the third and Alec Bohm’s RBI single in the fourth. Harper homered off Rangers reliever Jacob Latz in the sixth for a 3-1 lead, snapping a 12-game losing streak against the Rangers that dated back to 2014. Bohm, who has 11 RBI over his seven-game hitting streak, hit a double in the eighth for his NL-best 44th RBI, and Bryson Stott followed with a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 5-2.

“They’re pitching well and getting big hits,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “They’re one of the best teams in baseball right now; that’s how well they’re playing.”

The New Ranger Suarez Fan Group

Adding to the excitement, the Phandemic Krew in Section 301 has morphed into “Ranger’s Rangers,” a parody of the Power Rangers. This new fan group dons colorful gear and cheers on Ranger Suarez with enthusiastic chants and creative signs, energizing the crowd and celebrating Suarez’s phenomenal season

[Power UP ! Get your Ranger’s Rangers Shirt at The Phandemic Krew Website]

It’s All LOVE For Ranger Suarez

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