Realmuto leads as Phillies Game 1 magic continues originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

HOUSTON – And so the magic of the Phillies’ first game continues.

They are 4-0 in their first game of the season.

They won Game 1 of the World Series in dramatic fashion on Friday night, coming back from a five-run deficit to eventually beat the Houston Astros 6-5 thanks to an emphatic solo home run by J.J. T. Realmuta did not appear in the match. beginning of the 10th.

Realmuto, who hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series ahead of Bryce Harper on Sunday, had a huge game Friday night. His two-run double in the top of the fifth inning against Justin Verlander tied the game at 5-5 after the Astros had taken a 5-0 lead against Aaron Nola.

How rare is it for a team to blow a five-run lead in a World Series game?


It happened only six times. Before Friday night, the last team to do that was the 2002 San Francisco Giants in Game 6 against the Los Angeles Angels. These Giants were managed by Dusty Baker, the current captain of the Astros.

In postseason history, the teams were 589-18 when holding a five-game lead.

Don’t you think there’s something special about these Phillies?

Hmmm. This postseason certainly had it all. They played 12 games and won 10.

Realmuta’s homer was against Luis Garcia on a 3-2 fastball. The step was on the outer half of the plate and went into the second row of seats behind the right field wall.

A half-inning earlier, Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos made a huge sliding catch to end the ninth and prevent the Astros from scoring the winning run. Jose Altuve reached base on a two-out single against Serantani Dominguez in the bottom of the ninth and stole second.

With a 6-5 lead, David Robertson survived a two-out double to tie the game and score the runs in the game.

The Phillies’ bullpen pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings. Tremendous effort.

Nola and Verlander gave up five runs and didn’t last past the fifth inning.

Verlander couldn’t hold on to an early 5-0 lead as the Phillies rallied for three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth to tie the game.

Phillies manager Rob Thomson has been aggressive with his bullpen and this unit has been brilliant at keeping the game going.

With the score tied, 5-5, Thomson singled to one of his bottom hitters, left-hander Jose Alvarado, and the hard-hitting Jordan Alvarez in the fifth. Alvarado retired the lefty Alvarez, who had 37 homers and 97 RBIs during the regular season. Alvarado ended up recording two outs in the fifth and one out in the sixth before Zach Eflin came on for five outs.

When Alvarez had to pitch again in a tied game in the seventh, Thomson moved to left-hander Ranger Suarez, the presumptive Game 3 starter. Thomson’s use of Suarez showed that he was solely focused on this game and Suarez knocked out Alvarez to preserve the tie.

Twenty-five days after he threw a gem on this very field to help the Phillies clinch their first playoff berth in 11 years, Nola returned to the mound at Minute Maid Park for the final, most important start of his life.

Overall, it wasn’t great for the right-hander as he gave up five runs in just 4 1/3 innings of work. The four runs came off the bat of Kyle Tucker, who hit a solo homer in the second inning and a three-run homer in the third as the Astros went up 5-0.

The Phillies started to chip away at Verlander in the fourth inning after the pitcher missed what could have been an inning-ending double. The Phillies forced Verlander into a 31-pitch inning and scored three runs with two outs on an RBI single by Castellanos and a two-run double by Alec Bohm to make it a 5-3 game. The inning might have been different if Verlander had been able to catch a line drive back into the Realmouth box. Had Verlander caught the ball, he could have doubled off Rhys Hoskins at first. Instead, Verlander got just the second out in the first and Bryce Harper extended the inning with a single to put two men on base for Castellanos.

Still in the game with those three runs in the fourth, the Phillies really needed a shutout from Nola in the bottom of the fourth and they should have kept the game tied.

The offense continued to wear down the 39-year-old Verlander in the top of the fifth, forcing him to throw 23 more shots. Brandon Marsh led off with a double into the bag at third base and Kyle Schwarber walked. After Hoskins popped out, Realmuto fouled out at 95.5 mph, trailing Verlander 0-1. The next pitch was a hanging breaking ball, and Realmuto got a good look at it. He swung hard and hit a double off the wall in left-center to tie the game at 5-5.

The Phillies went all the way back against a pitcher who is likely to win the American League Cy Young Award. Verlander led the AL in wins (18), ERA (1.75) and WHIP (0.83), and he struck out 11 New York Yankees while throwing six innings of one-hit ball in Game 1 of the ALCS. Despite all of that, he couldn’t hold on to a 5-0 lead in Game 1 of the World Series. It wasn’t the first time Verlander struggled in a World Series game. His ERA in eight World Series starts is 6.07.

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