JT Realmut hit the winning home run in the top of the 10th on Friday as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Astros, 6-5, in Game 1 of the World Series in Houston.
The last team in the National League to make the playoffs, the Phillies wiped out a 5-0 deficit against Houston’s two-time Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, giving the Astros their first loss of the postseason. I was.
Realmuth, who hit a tying 2-run double off Verlander in the fifth, said the game exemplified Philadelphia’s fortitude.
“I can’t believe it,” said the catcher, who held a hard foul ball in his face mask during the game.
Kyle Tucker hit two homers for the Astros as they won the American League playoffs, 7–0, and made their fourth appearance in Major League Baseball’s Best of Seven Championship Series in six seasons.
They won in 2017, their first win since a sign-stealing scandal saw the club fined $5 million.
Tucker led off the bottom of the second with a solo home run off Phillies starting pitcher Aaron Nola, then hit a changeup to right field. Houston added another run in the inning when Martin Maldonado’s groundball single scored Yuri Gurriel.
Tucker added a three-run burst next inning to push the Astros lead to 5–0, becoming the first Houston player to hit multiple homers in a World Series game.
Jeremy Pena doubled to right field to lead off the inning and reached third base on Jordan Alvarez’s ground ball. Alex Bregman walked and Tucker returned to the plate and hit a 395-foot fastball from Nora into right-center field.
Meanwhile, Verlander was searching every inch for an ace, not allowing any baserunners to get through the third inning.
The Phillies eventually topped out in the fourth when he gave up a one-out single to Rhys Hoskins. Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos hit back-to-back bases and Hoskins scored.
A double line drive to left field by Alec Bohm drove Harper and Castellanos as Philadelphia cut the deficit to 5-3.
Realmuth tied the game with two outs in the fifth, pounced on a curveball hanging from Verlander, and doubled off the left field wall, scoring for Brandon Marsh and Kyle Schwarber.
Marsh hit a double to open the inning and Schwalber was walked by Verlander.
– “Unfortunate” Verlander –
It was another underwhelming World Series trip for the 39-year-old Verlander, who is chasing his third Cy Young Award.
“It’s disappointing,” said Verlander, who pitched five innings, allowing six hits and five runs, all with two earned runs and two walks and five strikeouts.
“My team gave me a 5-run lead and I just couldn’t hold it. I’m really confident I can hold that lead 99% of the time, but unfortunately today was not.
“We have a lot of credit for the other dugout players. They’ve got a great lineup, they’re hot, and if you don’t make the pitch, they’re going to hurt you.”
The Astros avoided a bases-loaded jam in the seventh and threatened in the ninth when Jose Altuve singled with two outs and stole the second.
Pena then threw the ball to right field, but Castellanos made a diving catch, sending the game into extra innings.
“How long were you leading? Fifteen minutes?” Castellanos said. “Sometimes that’s enough.”
Phillies relief pitcher David Robertson earned the save in the bottom of the 10th despite a Bregman double and a walk to Gurriel.
The runners advanced on a wild pitch before Robertson induced a groundout from pinch hitter Aledomis Diaz.
The Astros, making their fourth World Series appearance in six seasons, will try to regroup when they host Game 2 on Saturday.