On Friday night the Philadelphia Phillies won the first game of the World Series 6-5 in extra innings over the Houston Astros.
A home hit by J.T. Realmuto in the top of the 10th inning gave the Phillies the victory quieting the loud Houston crowd at Minute Maid Park. When Houston had runners at second and third with no outs and no time left in the game, they were unable to score.
By the end of the third inning, the Astros had a commanding 5-0 lead thanks to four runs scored on home runs by Kyle Tucker in his first two at-bats of the game. Realmuto’s double in the fifth inning levelled the game and the Phillies scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Nick Castellanos made a diving catch to keep the score tied at 5. This forced extra innings, where Houston’s potential winning run remained on second base.
Just fantastic. It was the perfect ending to the ideal series. The comments were made by Castellanos in a postgame interview. The score was 5–0, and we were losing. We encountered difficulty, and we proceeded in our usual manner. We figured out how to hand off the initiative and keep the fight continuing. For what, ten or fifteen minutes? And that’s all that’s required sometimes.”
Realmuto who became the first catcher to hit a World Series home run in extra innings since Carlton Fisk’s memorable Game 6 walk-off in 1975, lauded his team’s resilience after they staged a comeback and won the game.
“With the way, we battled back from a 5-0 deficit, that game is a win for the Phillies right there,” Realmuto said.
“I just wanted to get on base,” the hero-winning home run hitter said. “I was attempting to catch some early pitches,” he explained. Saw a pitch I could hit. I got a solid swing on it, thankfully.
The Phillies scored five unanswered runs against Astros starter Justin Verlander. In spite of his outstanding record, Verlander has never won a World Series game as a starter.
Verlander admitted after the game that his pitching performance could have been better.
“It’s disappointing,” Verlander remarked. They gave me a five-run lead, and I blew it. Usually, I can keep that lead, but today I couldn’t.
On Saturday, Houston will play host to Game 2 of the best-of-seven series.
An Unforgettable Victory for the Phillies
MLB reports that after Friday’s comeback, winning clubs are now 220-6 when holding a five-run lead or more in the World Series. It hasn’t happened since the Anaheim Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels) erased a five-game deficit to win Game 6 in 2002.
The expansion of Major League Baseball’s postseason from 10 to 12 teams this season has certainly benefited the Phillies, as evidenced by Friday’s events.
With a win against the Astros in Houston, the 87-win Philadelphia Phillies clinched the National League East’s third and final playoff position, snapping the franchise’s 11-year postseason drought.
The Astros are the favourites to win the World Series after earning the top seed in the American League playoffs. After a perfect run through the American League playoffs, where they swept the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees, the Houston Astros return to the World Series for the fourth time in the last six years as heavy favourites.
With a No. 6 seed in the National League, the Phillies have already defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, the defending champion Atlanta Braves and the San Diego Padres to advance to the World Series.
After losing the World Series to the Washington Nationals in 2019 and the Atlanta Braves the year before, Houston will be eager to make amends. Last year, the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series to claim their first and only championship.
While they did win the 2017 World Series, the victory is tainted by the fact that Major League Baseball later determined the squad had illegally devised a mechanism to interpret and communicate the pitching indicators of opponent teams.
Many sports fans who aren’t from Houston still find the Texans’ championship to be a mystery because the team had to give up draught picks and pay a $5 million fine in exchange for keeping their championship.
If the Phillies were to win the series it would be the franchise’s third World Series championship overall and it’s first since 2008.
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