Ranger Suarez is leading the pitching resurgence in Philadelphia

Suarez Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 22: Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ranger Suarez (55) delivers during the Major League Baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies on May 22, 2021 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire)

While the Phillies may have dropped Tuesday night’s game to the Atlanta Braves, they certainly got a great effort from starter Ranger Suarez.

Suarez went 6 innings, allowing 1 earned run, 4 hits, and struck out 7 batters. The Phillies’ sole left-handed starter has been brilliant as of late, and one of the major reasons for the club winning 13 of their last 16 games.

Between his performance in the 2022 playoffs and the recent stretch that he has been putting together, there is an argument to be made that Ranger Suarez might be the best pitcher on this year’s staff.

Setting the Tone

While he was unable to get a win last night, I think Ranger Suarez is the tone-setting for this Phillies rotation. Since his start against the Washington Nationals on June 4th, the starting staff has been dialed in.

Ranger gives the Phillies a chance to win every time he takes the ball. That is all you can ask for from your third starter, and with Nola & Wheeler being a little inconsistent, it makes Ranger’s performance that much more important.

Ranger suarez
Philadelphia Phillies’ Ranger Suarez pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Tuesday, June 20, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Return of the Ranger

Ranger Suarez recorded the biggest out in the last decade for the Phillies. Getting Austin Nola to fly out to right field to send the Phils into the World Series was an incredible moment, and one of many outstanding performances Ranger has given the Phillies since joining the club. 

That kind of moment symbolizes the kind of gear that Ranger Suarez has shown he can reach. Whether it’s as a starter or out of the bullpen, Ranger has proven to us he has what it takes, and that is the kind of asset the Phillies regained when he returned from injury. 

Over his last 5 games, he has pitched to a 1.38 ERA and has struck out 29 batters. 

His elite defense on the mound just gives him another advantage over opposing pitchers, and it is something that drives hitters crazy.

Suarez is an old-school kind of pitcher. He does not rely on high velocity to get outs, but rather keeping hitters off balance with a good pitch mix and strong command. Even when Ranger doesn’t have his best stuff, he is still able to cook up outs for this team.

Giving the Phillies a lifeline

His past 5 games are a small sample size, and while he did miss time to start the season, I could argue that he has been the most consistent pitcher the Phillies have had this season. If you take away his first couple of outings, which can be looked as the Spring Training he missed out on, he has been dominant.

Zack Wheeler is the Phillies’ best pitcher and Aaron Nola is arguably the most talented, but it feels to me that Ranger is the most consistent. 

His next start will come Sunday against the New York Mets. In what is a must-win series in my opinion, Ranger Suarez will need to deliver a Phillies win on Sunday.

Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire