Philadelphia Phillies set to host Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park with World Series tied at 1-all on Halloween night

PHILADELPHIA– Fresh from singing another rollicking chorus of “Fly, Eagles fly,” fans poured out of Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, quickly shifting their attention from the only undefeated NFL club to another Philly team, sport and building only a few hundred meters away.

“Let’s go Phillies!” some sang in the hall. “Let’s go, Harper!” others yelled as they headed for the exits.

do you think that was loud? Just wait until the World Series returns to Philadelphia for the first time since 2009. Also on Halloween night, with the Phillie Phanatic sure to be in rare form.

Citizens Bank Park, already frenzied throughout the NL playoffs, will pulse positively for Game 3 on Monday night – assuming the rain that’s in the forecast doesn’t dampen things.

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know ahead of Game 3 at Citizens Bank Park

Noah Syndergaard will play for the Phillies against Lance McCullers Jr. and the Houston Astros, with the series drawing one game each.

“Philly fans are the best, they know the game. They just have a way of showing displeasure that’s sometimes hard for players to understand,” Mike Schmidt, the biggest Phillie of them all, said in an email to The Associated Press on Sunday.

That’s certainly a way of putting it, coming from a three-time NL MVP and first-choice Hall of Famer who’s had enough boos at Veterans Stadium.

Schmidt is widely expected to be at the stadium for the pre-game celebrations when the series resumes after a day of travel. And he’s sure to draw a standing ovation and hear loud cheers — in fact, the city of brotherly love is in love with all of its Phillies these days.

A large World Series banner was displayed on their stadium. Across the street, a giant “Let’s Go Phillies!” Schild was draped from the Eagles’ stadium before they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-13 to go 7-0.

McCullers says he’s excited to hear and see the full scene.

“I wasn’t shy when it came to pitching on the street. I think it’s really cool to pitch on the street in the postseason. I think that’s when you get to experience the grittiest, most real atmosphere in the whole game,” he said.

Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and the Phillies are all too eager to show the curvaceous McCullers first-hand how quickly things can spiral out of control in Philadelphia’s pinball machines.

After going 47-34 on the bench this season — well, not great compared to several top teams — the Phillies have become monster stompers at home in the playoffs.

Philadelphia took a 5-0 lead at home as it eliminated defending World Series champions Atlanta and San Diego in the playoffs, topping them 35-15 overall.

Harper, Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins made the park jump with long balls. JT Realmuto wowed a sell-out crowd when his drive took a crazy carom off the oddly angled wall in midfield, making him the first catcher in postseason history to hit a home run in the park.

Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella had just gotten out of his car at the adjacent Wells Fargo Center when the Phillies broke loose in a playoff game.

“It was shaking where I was. That was pretty cool,” Tortorella said. “That’s what I love about being here.”

Syndergaard, who spent his first six seasons in the majors playing for NL East rivals the New York Mets, is happy he’ll be warming up for the home side.

“I never had the opportunity to play a playoff game at Citizens Bank Park in a Mets jersey,” he said. “But I’m beyond happy and relieved to be wearing a Phillies jersey in this bullpen.”

“Because, I mean, those fans are with these guys from first place to the end of the game. And they are an important part of this team and also this organization,” he said.

Schmidt vividly recalled the Philly-loyal hecks and taunts of a Dodgers pitcher collapsing on the mound during the 1977 NLCS.

“They can affect what happens in the game, like the Burt Hooton debacle,” the former third baseman said. “They affect the dynamics of the game. I estimate an additional 20% advantage for the home team in baseball.”

“They love it when players bring them into the game with emotion and appreciation,” he said.

Syndergaard, a fan favorite in New York with his flowing blonde hair that earned him the nickname “Thor,” has pitched three times in the postseason for a total of 5 1/3 innings this year. His last start was on October 15 in the NL Division Series against Atlanta when he gave up a run in three innings.

He now joins Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and manager Dusty Baker’s Astros, who had five runs each in their first two games against Phillies aces Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler.

“Well, he probably hasn’t had a real start since mid-September, and his highest pitch count is probably around 35 pitches,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said.

“I think that three-inning mark is — probably three, four innings, we’re probably there,” he said.

Thomson will also be keeping an eye on the weather.

“They want to make sure there aren’t any delays, that they have enough time to get it in,” he said.

“If it’s really light and foggy and it doesn’t get any heavier, they can launch it. If it’s going to rain moderately to heavily, they won’t start it,” he said.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Philadelphia Phillies set to host Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park with World Series tied at 1-all on Halloween night

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