Schwarber’s two-run home run was a particularly majestic, towering drive that bounced off the ivy-covered wall in center field, 443 feet from home plate. McCullers just turned and watched it fly, along with the other 45,000 people in the stadium.
“It was kind of mind-boggling,” Baker said, “because he doesn’t give up homers.”
While McCullers struggled, Ranger Suárez, the Phillies starter, soared. Making his first World Series start, the unflappable lefty threw five shutout innings and allowed only three singles, two of which were on ground balls.
Like Harper, Suárez had starred in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the San Diego Padres. Harper’s two-run homer had given the Phillies the lead in that game, and Suárez got the final two outs for the save.
“Ranger doesn’t get nervous,” Rob Thomson, the Phillies’ manager, said before the game. “He’s a pretty calm character. You saw what he did in Game 5 of the Padres series. It doesn’t matter the game state, the inning, what the score is, what his role is, he just goes out and pitches.”
Of course, it is a lot easier to pitch when your teammates are mercilessly pounding the opponent’s pitcher. It was a perfect way for Philadelphia to welcome its team, and the World Series, back to town.
“The world might be shocked by what’s going on,” Castellanos said. “But I don’t think a lot of us are shocked by what’s going on.”
Ben Shpigel contributed reporting.