PHILADELPHIA — As the weather forecast worsened throughout Monday, Major League Baseball decided to postpone Game 3 of the World Series.
Shortly after a 6:45 p.m. ET meeting, the game between the Houston Astros and the host Philadelphia Phillies was postponed. Game 3 will now be played Tuesday starting at 8:03 p.m. ET.
After earning a split in the first two games, the Phillies returned home to wet conditions. The raucous crowd of nearly 46,000 will now be waiting 24 hours longer.
“It’s going to be fair for everybody,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said.
With the extra day, the Phillies altered their pitching plans for Game 3. Instead of Noah Syndergaard, the Phillies will now hand the ball to Ranger Suarez (10-7, 3.65 ERA regular season; 1-0, 1.86 postseason). Whether Suarez is closing a game or being inserted as a starter in the World Series, he’s ready.
“I’ve always been like that,” Suarez said of staying calm. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been like that. I just try to go out there and have fun. That’s really what I try to do when I go play baseball.”
The Phillies have fallen behind 5-0 in each of the first two games. They rallied from a 5-0 deficit to win 6-5 in 10 innings in Game 1 but dropped Game 2 5-2 on Saturday.
Philadelphia is 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 earlier in the week. “They have been great through this whole postseason.”
Despite the extra day, Houston will still send Lance McCullers Jr. (4-2, 2.27 ERA regular season; 0-0, 2.45 postseason) to the mound.
“This is part of the game,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said of the rain delay. “You can’t control the weather. You just deal with it.”
McCullers 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 of Philadelphia. “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?
“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 to open Game 3. Jose Altuve snapped out of a maddening slump with three hits and Alex Bregman hit a clutch home run on Saturday. Altuve was 4-for-38 in the playoffs entering Game 2.
“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. Now they’re three wins away from another championship.
“In all honesty this is probably the most fun I ever had playing baseball,” Bregman said.
–By Andy Jasner, Field Level Media