Diamondbacks-Phillies NLCS Game 7 pitching matchup: Brandon Pfaadt vs. Ranger Suárez
Oct 24, 2023, 9:15 AM | Updated: 2:58 pm
With a World Series berth on the line, the Arizona Diamondbacks are turning to rookie Brandon Pfaadt to start NLCS Game 7, while the Philadelphia Phillies are handing the ball to Ranger Suárez.
“It would mean a lot,” Pfaadt said Wednesday on how he would feel being on the mound with a chance to help the D-backs advance to the World Series. “I think being in the position to start Game 7, I think that would be huge. Especially as a rookie.”
Pfaadt dominated the Dodgers and Phillies in his last two postseason starts but struggled against the Brewers in the wild card series and throughout the regular season.
In the first wild card game, Pfaadt gave up three runs on seven hits in just 2.2 innings, the first postseason start of his career.
The rookie right-hander finished with a 3-9 record and gave up 22 home runs in just 96 innings during the regular season.
What changed for Brandon Pfaadt in the Diamondbacks-Phillies NLCS series?
“I think just it being more meaningful games, I think you gameplan a little more,” Pfaadt said on the difference between his regular season and postseason performances. “You have a little more edge going out there, and you know that it’s a must-win game.
“I think that’s where the competitive nature comes in. I think that’s kind of my only answer for the results that have happened.”
Pfaadt threw 5.2 scoreless innings and struck out nine in the D-backs’ Game 3 NLCS victory over the Phillies. Against the Dodgers in the NLDS, Pfaadt tossed 4.1 scoreless frames and gave up only two hits and no walks.
“I think my confidence is pretty high,” Pfaadt said. “I try to keep it pretty steady. I think that’s kind of where people struggle is when their confidence dips too low or too high. I’ve always been taught to keep it even-keel, and that’s kind of the way I try to keep it.”
The even-keeled 25-year-old has been preparing for the biggest start of his life by going through all of his normal routines, even for a start that he didn’t know was going to happen until Monday night. He said he treated it like there’d be a Game 7 and wants to be aggressive.
“We’re just going to keep attacking them, keep being aggressive and be cautious of the home run hitters,” Pfaadt said. “I know that’s been a problem. And kind of work the game plan around that.”
How has Suárez pitched this postseason?
Suárez did not pitch in the wild card series but started two games in the NLDS against the Braves. In Game 1 of that series, the left hander tossed 3.2 scoreless frames and gave up one hit. Suárez started Game 4 and gave up only one run on three hits over five innings to help eliminate the Braves.
In NLCS Game 3 versus the D-backs, Suárez was once again dominant by striking out seven and giving up just three hits over 5.1 scoreless innings.
How have the D-backs’ bats fared against Suárez?
Many of the D-backs’ hitters have done well against Suarez.
Christian Walker is 5–for-15 with four walks and an RBI in 19 plate appearances against Suárez in his career.
Meanwhile, Ketel Marte is 6-for-15 with an RBI in 17 plate appearances against Suárez in his career.
Geraldo Perdomo is 3-for-6 with a walk in seven plate appearances against Suárez.