JT Realmuth’s timely swing led the Philadelphia Phillies to an improbable World Series victory. A great hit by right fielder Nick Castellanos gave him that shot.

Realmuto hit a solo home run in the 10th inning and the Phillies, saved by a sliding catch by Castellanos, edged the Houston Astros 6-5 on Friday night.

In a 5-0 loss against Astros ace Justin Verlander, the Phillies became the first team in 20 years to overcome a five-run deficit to win a game in the World Series.

Game 1 of the 2022 World Series: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Houston Astros
.T. Realmuta #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts to Bryce Harper #3 after hitting a leadoff home run in the tenth inning during Game 1 of the 2022 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Friday, October 28, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

Photo by Logan Riley/MLB via Getty Images

They can thank Castellanos for the opportunity. Known far more for his bat than his glove, he pitched in to save the game on Jeremy Peña’s bloop with two outs in the ninth inning and a runner on second.

“Overall, it was a great game, a great win, and it just showed the resilience of the club again and how strong they are and they just don’t quit,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said.

Realmuto, who hit a game-tying two-run double in the fifth off Verlander, completed the comeback when he led off the 10th by sending Luis Garcia’s fastball into the seats.

Realmuto hoped for the best when he saw right fielder Kyle Tucker chasing the ball.

“One day I saw him running back towards the wall and I thought in my head, ‘Oh, please don’t catch him, just don’t catch him.’

He didn’t, the ball flew out of his reach.

Realmuto rounded the bases in a scene he dreamed of as a child.

“Oh, definitely. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean backyard Wiffle Ball games, all 3-2, bases loaded, two-out situation. I probably had 7,000 at-bats in that situation when I was growing up.” he said.

And he usually delivered?

“Every time, yes,” Realmuto said, laughing.

Realmuto became the first catcher to hit an extra-inning home run in a World Series since Carlton Fisk hit his fly in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 Series against Cincinnati at Fenway Park.

In his World Series debut, standout Bryce Harper added two singles for the Phillies. The two-time NL MVP is batting .426 (20-for-47) with five homers in this postseason.

Tucker scored twice for the Astros, who were 7-0 this postseason. CBSSports.com reports that Tucker has become the first player with multiple World Series efforts since then Brandon Lowe did it for the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of the 2020 Fall Classic.

“Disappointing, yeah, for sure,” Verlander said. “I need to do better. No excuses.”

Houston had a chance in the 10th when Alex Bregman doubled with one out. After Yuli Gurriel had two outs, David Robertson made a wild pitch that put runners on second and third.

Pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz was hit by David Robertson on a 2-0 count, but umpire James Hoy ruled that Diaz had bent toward the pitch and prevented him from going to first to load the bases.

Diaz walked on a 3-1 pitch to end it.

The last team to go up 5-0 in the World Series was the 2002 San Francisco Giants, who blew a chance in Game 6 to shut out the Angels and win the title under manager Dusty Baker.

Baker saw it happen again this time as manager of the Astros, with the same final score of 6-5.

The 106-win Astros haven’t lost since Philadelphia beat them on Oct. 3 behind Aaron Nola, clinching a spot as the third-seeded team and earning their first trip to the playoffs in 11 years.

Houston jumped out to a big lead thanks in large part to Tucker’s two homers. But the Phillies bounced back as Verlander struggled again in the World Series.

Perfectly, when he was leading 5-0 in the fourth match, he was out after the fifth at 5-all. That left him 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA in eight career World Series starts — hardly a streak for a pitcher expected to win his third Cy Young Award soon.

The Astros fell to 0-5 in World Series openers and dropped their first game of the postseason after winning the AL Division Series and AL Championship Series.

Serantani Dominguez pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win as Castellanos had his star game.

With Jose Altuve on second base after his two-out single and a stolen base, Peña hit a fly ball that flew off the bat at 68 mph and traveled only about 200 feet. Castellanos went a long way, then lunged and got caught at the end of the pitch, rolling to the ground.

Directly in front of the field, Castellanos moved a little closer.

“It was exactly what my instincts told me to do. I just thought he had a better chance of trying to cheat something than setting fire to something over my head,” he said.

In the NL Division Series opener against Atlanta, Castellanos drove in three runs and helped preserve the lead with a similar catch in the ninth of that 7-6 win.

“Several people said it looked like a carbon copy of each other,” he said. “But I’m just happy that the out was made and we were able to go on and win both of those games.”

In the World Series for the fourth time in six years — and after losing to Atlanta in six games last year — the Astros are looking to give Baker his first title as manager and his second title since winning in 2017, a title tainted by sign theft scandal.

The amazing Phillies team, which has two championships, is in the World Series for the first time since 2009. They rebounded from a 21-29 start that led to the firing of manager Joe Girardi.

Tucker rocked the orange-clad home crowd in the early going and became the first player in franchise history to hit a multi-home run game in the World Series. One of the few players in the majors to hit without a batting glove and suddenly radiating the position, he had four RBIs in a year after finishing the Fall Classic without one.

The normally mild-mannered Tucker capped his first homer with a swaggering swing of the bat and interjected an expletive as he yelled toward the dugout as he began to trot.

Nola had a perfect game in the seventh inning in his last trip to Minute Maid Park more than three weeks ago as Philadelphia clinched its first playoff berth since 2011. Things didn’t go so smoothly on Friday when he returned.

Tucker sent Nola on a speed that flew high and square in right field, giving Houston a 1-0 lead with no outs in the second. Gurriel, Ches McCormick and Martin Maldonado added singles for another run.

Peña, the ALCS MVP, doubled to open Houston’s third before Jordan Alvarez grounded out. It was initially ruled safe, but the Phillies contested the call and it was overturned.

Bregman, who was Nola’s roommate at LSU, struck out before Tucker went deep again, driving a ball into the stands behind the bullpen in right-center to make it 5-0.

Verlander, who had an MLB-best 1.75 ERA in the regular season, allowed six hits and five runs in five innings. He joined Roger Clemens as the only pitchers in major league history to start in the World Series in three different decades and still not claim that elusive World Series victory. Friday marked his 12th career start in a postseason series, tying him with Jon Lester for the most in MLB history.

Verlander, making his third straight start, retired the first 10 batters before Rhys Hoskins singled with one out in the fourth. Harper and Castellanos singled and Alec Bohm hit a two-run double to cut the lead to 5-3.

Brandon Marsh led off the fifth with a double before Kyle Schwarber grounded out. Realmuto sent them both home with a double off the wall in left-center to tie the game at 5-all.