Verlander records his first World Series victory as Astros take a 3-2 series lead
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When a best of seven series is tied 2-2, the winner of game five goes on to win the series roughly 70-80% of the time across all major sports. The Astros came into this game riding high off their game four 5-0 combined no-hitter. With future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander taking the mound, there was some skepticism entering this game. As good as Verlander's regular season has been throughout his career, even his postseason stats, his World Series record is horrendous. 0-6 in eight starts with a 6.07 ERA and nine homers given up doesn't say Hall of Fame caliber pitcher. Things got going early on in the game.
Jose Altuve got the party started with a triple off the wall to right field. Jeremy Pena followed with a single to score Altuve and make it 1-0 Astros. Phillies starter Noah Syndergaard only lasted a couple more innings after that. Verlander gave up a solo home run to Kyle Schwarber on his second pitch to tie the game at 1-1. It was Verlander's 10th World Series home run allowed, most of all time. Pena gave the Astros the lead with a solo shot in the fourth inning. Verlander went five innings only giving up the solo homer to Schwarber. He settled down and got out of some jams with 94 pitches thrown and six strikeouts.
In the eighth inning, both teams scored another run. In the top of the inning, Yordan Alvarez grounded to first base and Altuve scored from third. In the bottom of the inning, Jean Segura singled to right and Nick Castellanos scored. 3-2 going into the ninth inning with Ryan Pressly on the mound is about as solid as things can get. Except the Phillies had their two, three, and four hitters coming up. Those guys were a combined 0 for 8 with six strikeouts in the game.
Rhys Hoskins got up and struck out after fighting off several 0-2 pitches. J.T. Realmuto was up next and gave a ball a ride to the warning track where Chas McCormick made a tremendous catch against the wall for out number two. Phillies big bopper Bryce Harper was up with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Pressly hit him in the shoe to put the winning run in the batter's box. Castellanos, the free swinger, was up next. Pressly got him to ground out to Pena. Ball game!
Verlander got off the schneid with his first World Series win. The Astros take a commanding 3-2 series lead. The series is headed back to Houston for Game Six. Now this team has the opportunity to close out the series at home. They have the chance to quiet the haters and doubters with their second World Series title in their fourth appearance in the Fall Classic in the last six seasons. This will cement legacies and be a fitting feather in the cap of this dynasty. One more win. Nine more innings. 27 more outs away from one of the biggest EFF YOU'S in sports history!