The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Houston Astros in dramatic fashion Friday night to take Game 1 of the World Series 6-5 in extras.
The Phillies won with a home run by J.T. Realmuto in the top of the 10th inning, hushing a raucous home crowd at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Houston then failed to score with runners on second and third to end the game.
The Astros first jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the bottom of the 3rd inning, with four runs scored off a pair of blasts hit by Kyle Tucker in his first two at-bats. Philadelphia soon responded with three runs in the 4th and tied the game in the 5th after a Realmuto double.
A diving catch by right fielder Nick Castellanos with two outs in the bottom of the 9th preserved a 5-5 tie, keeping what would have been Houston’s winning run on second base and sending the game to extra innings.
“It’s incredible. It was definitely a perfect game in a series.” Castellanos said during a post-game interview. “We were down five. We faced adversity, and we do what we always do. We found a way to pass the baton and keep something going, fought back. How long did we have the lead for the game, maybe 15 minutes? And sometimes that’s all you need.”
Realmuto – who became the first catcher with an extra inning home run in the World Series since Carlton Fisk’s famous Game 6 walkoff in 1975 – praised his team’s ability to come back.
“The way we fought back in that game after being down 5-0, that is a Phillies win right there,” Realmuto said.
Of the winning home run, “all I was trying to do is get on base. I was trying to see some pitches early,” he said. “Got a good pitch to hit. Luckily, I was able to put a good swing on it.”
The Phillies jumped on Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander for five runs. Verlander, a likely future hall of famer, remains winless as a starter in the World Series in his stellar career.
Following the game, Verlander said he needs to execute his pitches better.
“Disappointing,” Verlander said. “My team gave me a five-run lead, and I wasn’t able to hold it. I feel really confident that 99% of the time that I’m able to hold that lead, and unfortunately today I wasn’t.”
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Houston.