October 28, 2022

World Series 1: Phillies 6, Astros 5 (10)

Phillies - 000 320 000 1 - 6  9  0
Astros - 023 000 000 0 - 5 10 0
J.T. Realmuto lined a solo home run to right field leading off the top of the tenth inning (above) and David Robertson stranded Astros at second and third in the bottom half, giving the Phillies a 6-5 comeback win in Game 1 of the World Series.

This was the first extra-inning World Series game since the Red Sox and Dodgers played 18 innings in 7:20 in Game 3 in 2018. This was also Houston's first loss in eight postseason games this month.

The Phillies became the sixth team to overcome a five-run deficit and win a World Series game. Dusty Baker has been on the losing end of the last two instances (also losing Game 6 of the 2002 WS).

The Astros had never lost a postseason game in which they led by five or more runs (29-0) until tonight. Indeed, the last time they lost any game in which they held by five or more runs was July 26, 2021. Since then, they had won 65 such games (including playoffs). AND the Astros had won 15 straight games in which they led by multiple runs and 31 of their last 32 such games. (h/t Sarah Langs)

Teams are now 589-19 in postseason history when leading by 5+ runs

Teams are now 220-6 when leading by 5+ runs in World Series games. The comebacks:
1929 Game 4 - Athletics trailed by 8
1956 Game 2 - Dodgers trailed by 6
1993 Game 4 - Blue Jays trailed by 5
1996 Game 4 - Yankees trailed by 6
2002 Game 6 - Angels trailed by 5
2022 Game 1 - Phillies trailed by 5
Phillies: now 1-11 when trailing by 5+ in postseason
Perhaps the surprise of the night came when plate umpire James Hoye remembered the rarely-enforced rule against a batter intentionally letting himself get hit by a pitch. In the bottom of the tenth, Alex Bregman doubled off the wall in left and Robertson unintentionally intentionally walked Yuri Gurriel. Facing Aledmys Díaz, who was pinch-hitting for Trey Mancini (0-for-16 in the postseason), Robertson bounced his first offering and the wild pitch moved the potential tying and winning runs to third and second.

Robertson's 2-0 pitch was a bit inside and Díaz leaned into it, moving his left elbow into the pitch's path so he got plunked. Immediately, Hoye came out from behind the plate and made the call. You could hear him on the TV broadcast: Díaz made no effort to avoid the pitch -- quite the opposite, in fact -- so he was not entitled to first base. The pitch was ball 3. Hoye's correct call did not make up for blowing numerous ball/strike calls throughout the night, but this was great to see. Would Hoye have made the same call if it has come in the third inning? Probably not. Díaz swung at and missed the 3-0 pitch before grounding out to third, ending the game.

Justin Verlander came into this game with an 0-6 record in seven World Series starts and a 5.68 ERA. He started off extremely strong, retiring the first 10 Phillies on 42 pitches. He was the first pitcher to retire the first 10 batters in a World Series start since Luis Tiant in Game 1 of the 1975 World Series. I'm not sure that's correct, because it came from the Sportsnet announcers (Dave Flemming and Dan Plesac) and they were consistently stupid all night, so I don't entirely trust them. Case in point: One of them (Plesac?) referred to that Reds/Red Sox seven-game classic as "the Carlton Fisk World Series". God knows baseball announcers have brought up that series many times over the last 47 years, but I don't think I've ever heard it labelled "the Carlton Fisk World Series". Maybe I have, but tonight it sounded like a wrong note hit on a piano. Which reminds me that they also said Realmuto's dong was the first extra-inning World Series home run hit by a catcher since Fisk's foul pole blast ended Game 6 in the bottom of the twelveth inning on October 21, 1975. (This is true.) In the moment, I felt like seeing how many times catchers had batted in extra-inning World Series games since 1975 and what they had done, but I decided against it. If you look it up, I would like to know the details.

As Verlander mowed down the Phillies, his teammates brought in five runs of Aaron Nola (4.1-6-5-2-5, 81). Ken Tucker started the home second with a homer and another run scored on singles from Gurriel, Chas McCormick, and Martin Madonado. (The third single was a perfect hit-and-run play.) In the third, Jeremy Pena doubled, Bregman walked, and Tucker homered again.

With one out in the fourth, Verlander crumbled. The Sportsnet guys could not stop talking about this, how the Phillies did nothing against him the first time they faced him and then attacked the second time through. They seemed to believe no team had ever done this before -- and they kept mentioning it until the final out of the game. If it was a drinking game, you might not have passed out, but you'd have a serious fucking headache tomorrow. Both of them were clearly pro-Astros all night, but it was never more obvious than when Flemming wrapped up by saying "and the Phillies steal Game 1".

Verlander (5-6-5-2-5, 90) faced a total of 23 batters, but there was this split:
First 10 batters: 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, 42 pitches
Next 11 batters: 6 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 0 strikeouts, 39 pitches
Verlander's career ERA in World Series Game 1s is 10.29 (16 earned runs in 14 innings). His overall World Series ERA increased to 6.07.

Rhys Hoskins lined a one-out single to left center. Realmuto hit a liner back to Verlander, who dropped the ball and could get only the out at first as Hoskins went to second. Bryce Harper singled to right (the ball took a high hop and nearly got past Tucker). With runners at first and third, Nick Castellanous singlked to left for one run and Alex Bohm doubled into the left field corner and two more. Bryson Stott fouled off four 2-2 pitches before working a 10-pitch walk, but Jean Segura popped to second.

In the fifth, Brandon Marsh doubled down the left field line (after ripping a foul down the right field line). Kyle Schwarber walked and, after Hoskins popped to short, Realmuto doubled off the left field wall to tie the game at 5-5. At that point, both teams were into their bullpens and for the next 4.5 innings, only one runner got past second base.

Zach Elfin took over for the Phillies with one out in the sixth. Gurriel greeted him with a single and McCormick drew a two-out walk. Maldonado knocked a 2-0 pitch near the bag at third and Bohm made a long, one-hop throw for the third out.

The Phillies threatened in the seventh. Schwarber reached on an infield single and stole second with two outs. Bryan Abreu walked both Realmuto and Harper, loading the bases. Hector Neris came in and fanned Castellanos.

Jose Altuve, facing Seranthony Dominguez, dropped a single into short center field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Altuve took off for second on the first pitch to Pena. He was called safe, but the Phillies challenged the call. Realmuto's throw had been perfect and Segura caught the ball with his glove already on Altuve's leg. Every replay seemed far too close to warrant changing the initial call. But then Sportsnet showed one angle, which for some reason seemed darker than the others. In that one, Altuve's cleat could be seen more clearly in relation to the bag. From that particular angle, it looked like Altuve was out. However, the safe call was upheld. Pena took a called strike and then popped a pitch into short right near the line. If the ball fell in, Altuve would score the winning run easily. Castellanos sprinted in and over, and made a sliding, game-saving catch for the out.

As mentioned, Realmuto got real real gone off Luis Garcia in the tenth and gave his team a 6-5 lead. Harper followed with a single and was forced at second by Castellanos. Bohm grounded to third. Ryan Stanek came in from the bullpen and walked Stott. Segura then hit a soft liner to third.

As the Astros came off the field, Flemming noted that the Phillies needed to get "three big outs" (true enough) and then he added "this one is a long way from being over". Whaaa? No, it's not. We're in extra innings. Even if the Astros tied it up, the game could end in any subsequent inning. Way back in the middle of the fifth, after the Phillies had rallied from 0-5 to 5-5, THAT would be the proper time to offer that old cliche, "this one is a long way from being over".

Also . . . and all announcers do this . . . I cannot understand how an announcer can describe the previous pitch or play and say something that is directly contradicted by what is shown on the screen. Early in this game, Plesac was talking about a pitch that was "right in the corner of the strike zone". And on the screen as he's speaking is a strike zone graphic that shows the pitch out of the zone by a decent margin. I don't get it. The announcer corrects himself in those situations maybe 1 in 75 times. The other 74 times, he continues undeterred, as if his description of what he thinks happened can and will alter the reality of the pitch or play. It's okay, guys, really, your manhood is not on the line here. But maybe don't be so definitive before you see the replay.

We've also heard countless announcers call what the play will be before it actually happens and then sound like an idiot when something else happens instead. Dave O'Brien is a master at this. One of our dogs had been staring a hole through me (she was asking to go out) for a few batters so when Segura popped up with two down in the fourth, I wrote P4 (in pen, of course) on my scoresheet before Altuve actually caught the ball. I had a good laugh when he bobbled the ball. I don't think I have any correction fluid in the house. (I have finally learned not to write in plays that might be challenged.)

This was also the first World Series game in which both teams started a rookie shortstop. Seems like that should have happened before. Well, it has for the other three infield positions, but not shortstop.

The winner of the first game of a best-of-7 postseason series has ended up winning the series 64.7% of the time (121 of 187). Go Phillies! . . . and phuck the Astros.

I posted this in the game thread:

Battle of the Mascots . . .


Dr. Jeff said...

Why do you think the ump wouldn't have made the (correct) call on the batter intentionally getting hit, if it had happened in the 3rd inning? When this happened at the time, I definitely thought of times when you had mentioned this in the past. It seems that instead of it being called a ball (and is the ball dead?), the batter should be called out. Similar to an interference call. If it's just a ball, instead of a HBP, then there's no downside for the batter to try this, especially if he is wearing padding on the arm that's getting hit.

allan said...

I think the situation made the difference. Diaz could have won a World Series game with a single right there. Or he could have made an out and the Phillies would have won. A batter in the third inning won't win or lose the game *right there*, so I'm assuming most umps would not call it (as they usually don't call it). I've certainly seen instances that were as blatant as Diaz, but were not called.
Calling the batter out is not a bad idea, but what happens when the batter's intent may not be so clear? Maybe he just froze and got drilled?

Dr. Jeff said...

Well, that is the judgment of the Umpire, and possibly subject to video review. I know the rule states that the batter has to "get out of the way", and thus not moving at all (freezing) is technically in violation, but this was an obvious attempt to lean into the pitch and should be subject to additional penalty. This wouldn't happen without all the padding, I don't think. Remember Bonds's armor he used to wear?

johngoldfine said...

Heh,'real real gone' and you think Van Morrison. I think Elvis and the Milkcow Blues Boogie.


allan said...

I did think Elvis -- but then saw Van Morrison and figured, hey, that's good, too.