It was an anxious, exciting night to be a Philadelphia or Houston sports fan Thursday, with a two-sport high-stakes showdown played at the same time that gave Houston an edge in the World Series and kept Philadelphia perfect on the gridiron.
In Pennsylvania, there was Game 5 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros, each looking to take the advantage in a 2-2 series. Meanwhile, in the NFL, the Houston Texans hosted the league’s lone undefeated team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
The result for those fan bases: a split.
The Astros defeated the Phillies 3-2 to take a three-games-to-two series lead, continuing on its roll after no-hitting the Phillies in Game 4 Wednesday.
Philadelphia rallied to within one run and had Bryce Harper on base in the bottom of the ninth, but a sensational catch at the wall by Astros outfielder Chas McCormick helped preserve Houston’s victory as the clock struck midnight.
“I was kind of laying out for whatever at that point,” McCormick said postgame. “I saw the wall. I saw the warning track. It was just high enough for me to get in and reach out and go get it.”
Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander collected his long-awaited first career World Series victory after pitching five innings with six strikeouts and giving up one run. He told reporters he received the “rookie treatment” from teammates after the game.
“They put me in the cart and rolled me in the shower and just dowsed me with all sorts of stuff, and it was one of the best feelings in my career,” he said. “Just truly love these guys. I love our team.”
The Fall Classic shifts back to Houston on Saturday, where the Astros could close it out in Game 6.
Houston vs. Philly, again
As the World Series was underway Thursday night, the Eagles held off the Texans in Houston 29-17 to start 8-0 for the first time in franchise history.
The Texans – largely in a rebuilding phase after trading suspended quarterback Deshaun Watson to Cleveland – would hang tough against the favorites.
The game was tied at 14 at halftime after the Eagles missed a 54-yard field goal attempt in the final play of the first half, and Houston only trailed 21-17 after three quarters.
But Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts extended the lead with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert, and then rushed up the middle on the next play to secure the 2-point conversion. Eagles defender James Bradberry sealed the win late in the game, picking off Texans quarterback Davis Mills’ pass in the red zone.
Hurts, a star quarterback in college, said postgame he was happy for the city but added that he has “been 8-0 before and lost a national championship,” stressing that the Eagles had more work ahead.
“Take it day by day. We haven’t accomplished anything yet,” he said. “It’s a day-by-day thing of us controlling the things we can, playing to our standard, trying to grow every day.”
Hurts finished the night 21-of-27 passing for 243 yards and two touchdowns.
The Texans fall to 1-6-1.