World Series: Philadelphia Phillies strike first in World Series, beat Houston Astros in Game 1 overtime thriller
The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Houston Astros in spectacular fashion Friday night to win Game 1 of the World Series 6-5 on extras.
The Phillies won with a JT Realmuto home run in the top of the 10th inning, silencing a raucous crowd at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Houston then failed to score with runners at second and third to end the game.
The Astros first took a 5-0 lead late in the 3rd inning, with four runs scored on a pair of outbursts hit by Kyle Tucker in his first two at bats. Philadelphia responded quickly with three runs in the 4th and tied the game in the 5th after a double from Realmuto.
A diving catch from right fielder Nick Castellanos with two outs in the bottom of the 9th preserved a 5-5 tie, keeping what would have been Houston’s winning run to second base and sending the game to extra innings.
« It’s unbelievable. It was definitely a perfect game in a series. Castellanos said in a post-match interview. « We were down five. We faced adversity, and we let’s do what we always do. We found a way to pass the baton and get something going, we fought back. How long did we get the lead for the game, maybe 15 minutes? And sometimes, that’s all you need.
Realmuto – who became the first receiver with an extra home run in the World Series since Carlton Fisk’s famous Game 6 in 1975 – praised his team’s ability to come back.
“The way we fought back in this game after going down 5-0 is a Phillies win right there,” Realmuto said.
On the game-winning home run, “All I was trying to do was get on the base. I was trying to see some pitches early,” he said. “I have a good shot to hit. Fortunately, I was able to put a good swing on it.
The Phillies pounced on Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander for five runs. Verlander, a likely future Hall of Famer, remains winless as a World Series starter in his stellar career.
After the game, Verlander said he needed to execute his throws better.
« Disappointing, » Verlander said. “My team gave me a five-point lead and I couldn’t keep it. I’m really confident that 99% of the time I’m able to hold that lead, and unfortunately today I wasn’t.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Houston.
After Friday’s comeback, teams are now 220-6 when leading by 5 points or more in a World Series game, according to MLB. Such a comeback hadn’t happened since the Los Angeles Angels – then known as the Anaheim Angels – trailed by five and went on to win Game 6 of the 2002 edition.
With moments like Friday’s, it’s safe to say the Phillies have benefited greatly from the MLB playoffs going from 10 to 12 teams this season.
The Phillies, winners of 87 regular-season games and third in the National League East, earned the last available playoff spot in – of all places – Houston, with a victory over the Astros, ending the 11-year drought. years of the Philadelphia playoffs.
The Astros were the No. 1 seed in the American League playoffs and are tipped by most, including bookies, to claim the franchise’s second World Series crown. The Astros have now reached the World Series for the fourth time in six years and are considered favorites after going undefeated in the AL playoffs, sweeping the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees.
As the No. 6 seed in the National League, the Phillies have already upset the odds three times en route to the Fall Classic, beating the St. Louis Cardinals, defending champion Atlanta Braves and the Padres. from San Diego.
Houston will want to make amends for the heartache of its last two World Series visits, where it lost to the Washington Nationals in 2019 and the Braves last season. The Astros’ only previous World Series win came when they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017.
This victory, however, is marred by controversy, as Major League Baseball discovered that the club illegally created a system that decoded and communicated opposing teams’ pitching signs during their 2017 championship season.
The team lost the draft picks and paid a $5 million fine, but retained their title – which for many non-Houston fans left their victory shrouded in scandal.
A series win for the Phillies would give the franchise its third World Series title, with its last coming back in 2008.