By Terrance Turner
Nov. 5, 2022
The Houston Astros just became world champions after beating the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series. This game comes after a dramatic five games, which will be recapped in brief here. (This recap is brought to you by the Houston Chronicle. Since they stole $22 from my account and refuse to refund it or cancel the subscription i called to cancel weeks ago, they’ll be providing this coverage themselves.)
For the first time in the postseason, the Astros, lost a game, falling 6-5 to the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday night at Minute Maid Park. Kyle Tucker gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a solo homer to right field to lead off the second inning. The usually calm Tucker flipped his lid and his bat afterward, yelling “LET’S F—ING GO” toward his dugout while jogging to first base. (Chandler Rome contributed reporting.)
The Astros then doubled their lead. How? “Terrific baserunning by Yuli Gurriel and a beautifully-executed hit-and-run by Martín Maldonado and Chas McCormick. McCormick broke for second in a two-strike count against Maldonado, who placed a ground ball perfectly where second baseman Jean Segura had vacated. Gurriel getting first to third on McCormick’s single enabled him to score.”
After Kyle Tucker’s home run, singles by Yuli Gurriel, Chas McCormick and Martín Maldonado allowed the Astros to take a 2-0 lead. Then, Kyle Tucker struck again, this time with a three-run homer off Aaron Nola into the Astros’ bullpen in right-center field for a 5-0 lead with one out in the bottom of the third inning.
But then the tide turned. Pitcher Justin Verlander dropped a ending inning ball from J.T. Realmuto. Then Alec Bohm hit a two run double to cut Houston’s lead to 5-3. Then, in the fifth, Verlander walked Kyle Schwarber. Two batters later, J.T. Realmuto’s double into the gap tied the game. Then Realmuto homered again in the tenth inning to help the Phillies win, 6-5.
The Astros evened the series. Consecutive doubles to left field by Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena in the first inning gave the Astros a a 1-0 lead off Phillies starter Zack Wheeler. Yordan Alvarez followed with his own double to make it 3-0. The Astros became the first team in MLB history to start a World Series with three consecutive extra base hits.
Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer with two outs in the fifth. The inning was kept alive by Yordan Alvarez beating out a throw to first on a potential double-play grounder. For the second time in two games, the Astros had jumped out to a five run lead.
The Phillies got a run off Framber Valdez in the seventh. But the Astros held on to their lead. The result was a 5-2 victory for the Astros to tie the series as it heads to Philadelphia for Game 3.
From the time Bryce Harper, bidding to become the latest Mr. November, teed off on Lance McCullers Jr. for a two-run first inning shot, until National League home run champ Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins went back-to-back off McCullers in the fifth, it was a night of celebration. Surging to an early four-run lead, the Phillies broke it open on that two-run 443-foot Schwar-bomb followed by Hoskins’ blast, then cruised home, 7-0 to take a 2-1 World Series lead.
The Astros put up five runs in the fifth inning. Chas McCormick had infield single on anything but a cheap hit. He took a slow breaking ball that came in at 79 mph and blistered it with a 97.8 mph exit velocity that shortstop Bryson Stott gloved, but had no chance to catch the speedy McCormick heading down the line. Jose Altuve followed with a line drive to left for his fifth hit of the series, which is impressive considering the former MVP was just 3-for 32 entering the World Series. Jeremy Peña kept the line moving with a ball hit so hard to left that even the speedy McCormick couldn’t score from second, loading the bases.
That’s when Rob Thomson had seen enough and called for his lefty specialist José Alvarado out of the bullpen to replace Aaron Nola. But the Astros responded. Alvarado’s first pitch of the game hit Alvarez in the side to finally put the Astros on the board. Alvarado responded by getting Bregman down 0-2 in the count before trying to put him away with a 100 mph sinker on the outer half that Bregman was able to send down the right-field line for a two-run double.
Tucker followed by delivering a sacrifice fly to score a run before Yuli Gurriel ripped a ball 109 mph — the hardest-hit ball of the night for either team — to left that gave his team an insurmountable 5-0 lead. And they shut out the Phillies. Cristian Javier and three relievers combined for the first no hitter in postseason history.
Jose Altuve, heckled with chants of “cheater,” opened the game with a double off the right-center field wall that’s misplayed by Brandon Marsh, allowing Altuve to take third. He scored on Jeremy Pena’s single off Noah Syndergaard for a 1-0 Astros lead. Kyle Schwarber tied the game with a leadoff homer to right field on Justin Verlander’s second pitch of the first inning.
Jeremy Peña put the Astros back up with his fourth homer of the playoffs, a leadoff shot to left field in the fourth inning. That ended pitcher Noah Syndergaard’s night. And Astros pitcher Justin Verlander had a great night. After striking out the first two batters, Justin Verlander challenged Bryce Harper, who had walked in his first two plate appearances, and gave up a ringing double to right.
But Verlander came back to win a stirring duel with Nick Castellanos. Castellanos fouled out off three 2-2 pitches and one 3-2 pitch before flying to left to keep it a 2-1 game. And Verlander’s strikeout of J.T. Realmuto for the second out leaves the Phillies catcher 0-for-15 since his 10th-inning home run in Game 1.
The Astros went on to win the game.
The game was scoreless through the first five innings. But everything changed in the sixth. The Phillies struck first. Schwarber unloaded another playoff home run to lead off the top of the sixth, ending the scoreless duel and giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead.
But the Astros struck back. Jose Altuve had a base hit. Jeremy Pena singled to bring Altuve to third base. And then, everything changed. Yordan Alvarez hit a three run homer to give the Astros the lead. “That ball was hit hard,” Jeremy Pena later remarked. “He’s a strong boy. And he’s a great hitter.” The Astros went up big.
Alex Bregman scored next to extend the lead.
The score held through the seventh and eighth innings. And the Astros held on to win the World Series.