World Series Game 4 Preview: Phillies look to make it 3-1 against struggling Astros

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Aaron nola
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 24: Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola (27) delivers a pitch during the fifth inning of the game between the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies on July 24, 2020 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

PHILADELPHIA- Did everyone get enough sleep last night? Maybe downed a 24oz coffee from Wawa? If not, do both and get ready because we’re in for wild Game 4 as the Philadelphia Phillies look to improve to 3-1 against the Houston Astros.

Dingers for everyone at the Home Run Derby

Game 3 highlighted all of the best bats that the Phillies had to offer. The Bryce Harper effect happened in the first with two outs. The 30-year-old smashed a two-run homer and that ignited the home crowd for the rest of the evening.

After a quick bullpen-side chat with Harper, Alec Bohm dinged one to left field, and let’s make that a 3-0 lead. Brandon Marsh, potentially missing from the set of Duck Dynasty, smashed one to the opposite side of the park and the home squad made it a cool 4-0 lead.

Fan favorite Kyle Schwarber sent one to deep centerfield and brought Marsh home for a 6-0 lead. Rhys Hoskins popping one to left and in front of a raucous Citizen Bank Park crowd made it 7-0. Every hit the Phillies made, they capitalized on at the plate.

In terms of pitchers, Ranger Suarez had himself a night: pitching five innings, notched three hits, and struck out four batters. To say Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. had a bad night is quite an understatement. Here’s the final out at the plate from Game 3:

Philadelphia and Houston meet again at CBP at 8:03 pm so here’s what you need to know.

Get ready for Nola Night

It’s Aaron Nola night at the ballpark as he gets the start in Game 4. If you remember, Nola started in Game 1 and he’s been given plenty of rest since October 28th. In that outing, he started 4 1/3 innings and allowed five runs. Thankfully, the Philly bats came out and pushed the team to a 6-5 win. Nola is 2-1 in the postseason with a 4.57 ERA. He struggled somewhat in his last two starts though: allowing 11 earned runs across nine innings. Yet against the Astros, Nola struck out nine of them in his final regular-season start against the Texas team.

Thankfully, Phillies skipper Rob Thomson will have plenty of depth in the bullpen, thanks to not using Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez in Game 3. There’s also this fun stat to give the team a boost:

Meet the Enemy

Houston is going to be looking for revenge in Game 4. Let’s look at who will be the other half of the pitching duel for the evening. Astros pitching is supposed to be the team’s strong suit yet it’s let them down not once, but twice. Cristian Javier was excellent in the ALCS. He’s got a 1.35 ERA and seven strikeouts across 6 2/3 innings pitched. Javier is also backed up by a completely rested bullpen but it’s been struggling with the Philadelphia offense. He’s allowing only 1.03 home runs per outing and has a strikeout percentage of 33.0%.

Houston’s bats aren’t quite performing as well as hoped. They’re collectively just batting .225 with an OPS of .690 during this postseason. They’ve yielded five or more runs in their last 3 out of 4 games. Houston typically averages 4.52 runs per game but has struggled against the Phillies bullpen in the last two out of three games.

TV Schedule and Stream

Game 4 has a start time of 8:03 p.m. Eastern on Fox and on FOXSports app through a TV provider login is necessary.

The game will also stream on any so-called skinny bundle that carries Fox, including fuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and DirecTV Stream.

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Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire