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Philadelphia Phillies Season in Review: Ranger Suárez

Philadelphia Phillies starter Ranger Suárez used the postseason to cement himself a spot atop the rotation.
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Nobody could have expected Ranger Suárez to be Jacob deGrom two years running. 

His 2021 was unequivocally one of the best small sample size pitching seasons in baseball history. An yet, expectations were still tempered around Suárez's 2022. He couldn't possibly be that effective again, could he?

Somehow, on the biggest stage, he showed up.

Always one to remain cool, calm and collected, people had envisioned Suárez pitching in the postseason since mid-season 2021. It seemed like there was no spot too big for him.

So it was only natural that across 14.2 postseason innings, Suárez had a 1.23 ERA. Not only did he add a World Series win to his repertoire, but also an NLCS-clinching save.

The 2022 regular season was not the successor to his brilliant 2021, but the 2022 postseason was the perfect microcosm of that success. Switching back and forth from starter to bullpen and then starter again, Suárez experienced all the ups and downs he had felt just a year prior.

After a nail-biting NLDS Game 1 outing that included five walks and a home run over 3.1innings, Suárez calmed down and allowed only one more run and one more walk across the Philadelphia Phillies entire run, silencing both the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres in fireman relief outings in NLCS Game 5 and World Series Game 1.

Suárez cemented his name among among all-time great Phillies postseason performers, putting the cherry on top of what was, at times, a rocky season. 

No start was more shaky than his first of the year, but more people will remember that as the Bohm game than the Suárez game.

On a strict pitch count, Suárez lasted only 63 pitches on 2.2 innings, allowing three earned runs due to three errors by the Phillies third baseman.

Following that disaster, Suárez calmed down and pitched to a 4.13 ERA through the end of June. It seemed like he'd settled into a role.

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Sure the Phillies didn't have a Cy Young candidate in Suárez, but a reliable back-end starter is an upgrade from a player who'd allowed nine runs on 4.0 innings just two years prior.

But something changed in July. Suárez, who had always been a pitch-to-contact hurler, stopped walking batters.

Coming back from injury on July 16, he pitched 16.0 innings that month, walking only two and allowing no earned runs on 16 strikeouts. The old Ranger Suárez was back.

From then through the end of the season his ERA was 2.95 with a 3.45 FIP.

Of course, one can't mention Ranger Suárez without including his league best defense.

Snubbed of a Gold Glove award due to arbitrary voting rules which state nominees must pitch a full 162.0 innings to qualify, Suárez's contributions to the Phillies don't need an award to value how important his fielding was.

While the average pitcher in 2022 made 1.36 plays per game in the field, Suárez made 2.55, enough to earn him nine DRS and lead all Phillies just J.T. Realmuto in that category.

Final Grade: A-

From July through the postseason, Suárez pitched to an ERA of 2.67, he became an ace once more, cementing himself as part of the three-headed monster that headlined the Phillies rotation with former-Cy Young Finalists Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

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