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Philadelphia Phillies Defeat Houston Astros In The 10th Inning After Falling Behind By Five Runs
Over the Houston Astros, the Philadelphia Phillies prevailed 6-5 after extra innings in a nail-biter of Game 1 of the World Series on Friday night. J.T. Realmuto’s home run for the Phillies in the top of the 10th inning silenced the boisterous home crowd at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. The game ended when Houston was unable to score with runners in scoring position at second and third.
The Astros took an early 5-0 lead in the third inning thanks to four runs scored on home runs by Kyle Tucker in his first two at-bats of the game. Three runs scored for Philadelphia in the bottom of the fourth, and after a Realmuto doubles in the fifth, the game was knotted. With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, right fielder Nick Castellanos made a diving catch to preserve a 5-5 tie and send the game into extra innings.
“That’s unbelievable. It was the perfect ending to a fantastic series. A quote from Castellanos’s postgame interview. Five points down, we said. We were challenged, but we persevered as we usually do. We figured out how to hand off the initiative and keep the fight continuing.
For what, maybe 15 minutes of the game, did we have a lead? And that’s all that’s required sometimes.” Catcher J.T. Realmuto lauded his team’s resilience after hitting the first World Series home run by a catcher in extra innings since Carlton Fisk’s memorable Game 6 walk-off in 1975.
As Realmuto put it, “that is a Phillies win right there,” the team came back from a 5-0 deficit. “All I was trying to do is get on base,” the game-winning home run hero said. I was attempting to catch some early-morning pitches,” he explained. To paraphrase a famous baseball player, “I got a good pitch to hit. Lucky for me, I was able to get a solid swing in.
The Phillies scored five unanswered runs against Astros starter Justin Verlander. Despite his outstanding career, Verlander has never won a World Series game starting. Verlander admitted after the game that he could have done better with his pitching. “It’s disappointing,” Verlander remarked. I had a five-run lead that my team handed me, and I blew it. I’m sure I can keep that lead 99 times out of 100, but today wasn’t one of them. On Saturday, Houston will host Game 2 of the best-of-7 series.
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The Philadelphia Phillies had just won a historic game.
According to MLB’s stats, after Friday’s comeback, teams are now 220-6 when holding a five-run lead or more in the World Series. To my knowledge, the last team to overcome a five-game deficit and win a game in the World Series was the 2002 Los Angeles Angels, then known as the Anaheim Angels. When you consider circumstances like Friday, it’s easy to understand how the MLB’s expansion of the postseason from 10 to 12 teams has benefited the Phillies.
With a win against the Astros in Houston, the 87-win Philadelphia Phillies clinched the National League’s third and final playoff position, breaking the franchise’s 11-year postseason drought. The Astros were given the best possible starting position in the American League playoffs and are widely expected to go on to win the series and give Houston its second World Series title. 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 six years as heavy favorites.
The Phillies, the National League’s No. 6 seed, have beaten the St. Louis Cardinals, the defending champion Atlanta Braves, and the San Diego Padres to advance to the World Series. When the Astros return to the World Series for the third time this year, they’ll be motivated by a desire to avenge their previous two defeats, which came at the hands of the Washington Nationals in 2019 and the Atlanta Braves the year before. In 2017, the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to win their first and only World Series.
However, the club’s 2017 championship season was clouded by a Major League Baseball investigation that concluded the team illegally developed a system to read and communicate the rival teams’ pitching signs. Many sports fans who aren’t from Houston view the Texans’ championship win as tainted 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 give the franchise its third World Series triumph overall, with the last coming in 2008.
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