A stunning comeback from the Philadelphia Phillies lit up the opening game of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park.
The Houston Astros held a five-run lead before being pegged back and beaten in extra innings as the Phillies took game one.
|What||World Series, Game Two of Seven: Houston Astros versus Philadelphia Phillies|
|Where||Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas.|
|When||01:03 BST 30th October BST|
|How to watch||BT Sport|
|Odds||Philadelphia Phillies 6/5, Houston Astros|
If ever there was a game to epitomise the moniker that the Philadelphia Phillies had obtained for themselves then Game One of this year's World Series was that.
The Phillies found themselves 5-0 down after three innings following Kyle Tucker’s two home runs off Aaron Nola.
However, the Phillies staged a comeback off the Astros’ leading pitcher Justin Verlander. Philadelphia kept chipping away at the lead at the top of the fourth inning, tying the game in the fifth inning thanks to J.T Realmuto’s double.
Neither team was able to score for the remaining four innings, although the Astros came close when in the ninth inning with Jose Altuve in scoring position with two outs, Nick Castellanos made a stunning catch to send the game to extra innings.
Realmuto came through in the 10th inning, hitting a home run to right field to put the Phillies into the lead for the first time in the game and they managed to close out the win at the bottom of the 10th.
Speaking to MLB.com, Realmuto said: "I guess tonight was my turn. It’s cool to see how the team is playing. It’s been a different hero every single night.
"It’s been that way all postseason season long. Every hitter in our lineup has had their moment where they have come through huge for the team."
The last team to rally from five runs down to win a World Series game was the Angels against the Dusty Baker-managed San Francisco Giants in Game six of the 2002 World Series.
So Baker knows all the pain that comes with a World Series loss and the Astros know that giving up home-field advantage following a loss in game one has cost them before with losses to the Washington Nationals in 2019 and to the Atlanta Braves in 2021.
They didn’t go on to win either Fall Classics.
Ace pitcher Justin Verlander, a favourite for the American League Cy Young Award, was excellent to start with before Baker let the veteran pitcher stay in the game too long.
It was a decision which proved costly for the Astros.
Verlander was looking for his first win in eight career starts in the Fall Classic, he required just 36 pitches to breeze through three innings. Things started to go awry in the fourth inning, before he was pulled in the fifth.
Speaking to MLB.com following the game Verlander said: "Disappointing, yeah, for sure. I need to do better. No excuses. Like I said, I just need to execute pitches better.
"I felt like I had some guys in good situations and just wasn’t able to quite make the pitches that I wanted to."
Verlander entered the game with a 5.68 ERA in seven previous starts and a 0-6 record; it's the third-worst in a pitcher with five or more World Series starts.
The 39-year-old should get a start in Game Five (if the series goes that long) at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The Astros’ have an opportunity to put this loss to bed in front of their own supporters at Minute Maid Park in Game Two of the series and they will have Framber Valdez pitching.
Valdez had a 17-6 record in the regular season with a 2.82 ERA and 194 strikeouts. The lefty pitcher has a 1-0 record in the postseason and a 1.42 ERA with 15 strikeouts.
For Philadelphia to try and take game two they will have Zack Wheeler on the mound with a 12-7 record in the regular season with a 2.82 ERA with 163 strikeouts.
Wheeler in the postseason has a 1-1 record with a 1.78 ERA and 25 strikeouts.