Game 1 | In Houston, PHL Wins 6-5
Verlander is Efficient
Philadelphia’s much-anticipated return to the World Series started off in Houston against Astros’ top ace, Justin Verlander. Verlander was effective, he struck out Kyle Schwarber, and got Rhys Hoskins to fly out before he got J.T. Realmuto out with a lineout. The Phillies sent their second in command, Aaron Nola to the mound. He started strong by striking out Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena before giving up a walk to Yordan Alvarez. Nola’s college roommate, Alex Bregman then came to the plate. Bregman popped out to the Phillies third baseman, Alec Bohm to end the first. Verlander continued to work his way through the Phillies lineup. He struck out Bryce Harper, before getting Nick Castellanos to pop out. Bohm grounded out to end the inning.
Nola started the bottom of the second by giving up a home run to Kyle Tucker. Yuli Gurriel kept the momentum going with a single before Trey Mancini struck out. Nola then gave up a single to Chas McCormick before there was a visit on the mound. Nola allowed a single to Martin Maldonado, which scored Gurriel before Altuve grounded into a double play to end the second. The Phillies did not rally back-yet-as Bryson Stott struck out, Jean Segura grounded out and Brandon Marsh struck out to end the top of the third. Nola allowed a lead-off double to Pena before Houston challenged an out call on Alvarez. The call stood as ‘out’ and Nola then walked Bregman. Tucker once again hit a home run off Nola, a nice 3-run home run. Following Tucker’s home run, Gurriel and Mancini both grounded out giving the Phillies a chance to catch up with only a three-run deficit.
The Start of a Rally
Catch up, they did indeed. After Schwarber flew out to center field, Hoskins singled. Realmuto was out on a line drive but Harper stepped up with a single. Castellanos singled which scored Hoskins and then Bohm doubled to score Harper and Castellanos. Verlander had a mound visit before and after walking Stott. Segura popped out to end the inning. Nola was efficient in the bottom of the fourth. He struck out McCormick, got Maldonado to ground out and then Altuve flew out to left field. Marsh started the top of the fifth with a double and Schwarber followed with a walk. Hoskins popped out, but then Realmuto doubled, which scored Marsh and Schwarber. Harper grounded out and Castellanos struck out to end the top of the inning. And the score was tied at five.
In From the Bullpen
After striking out Pena, Nola was pulled from the game at 81 pitches. Philadelphia brought in Jose Alvarado to continue the fifth. It took him five pitches to get two outs, as Alvarez popped out and Bregman struck out. Verlander was replaced by Bryan Abreu in the sixth. Abreu got a 1-2-3 inning on Philadelphia. Bohm lined out to right field before Abreu struck out Stott and Segura. Alvarado faced Tucker and got him out on a fly out, before he was pulled and Zach Eflin was brought in. Eflin gave up a single to Gurriel before Mancini flew out to Castellanos in foul territory. McCormick was walked but Maldonado grounded out to end the bottom of the sixth.
A Familiar Face
To start the top of the seventh, Marsh flew out before Schwarber singled, and stole second base! Hoskins struck out, but Realmuto walked before a mound visit occurred. After Abreu allowed a walk to Harper, he was taken out and Hector Neris (who formerly was a relief pitcher with Philadelphia) came in; he struck out Castellanos to end the inning. Eflin started strong in the bottom of the seventh, getting both Altuve and Pena out with ground balls. Ranger Suarez was then brought in to pitch to Alvarez. Suarez did the job and struck out Alvarez. Neris was finished after he pitched to one player; Rafael Montero was brought in and he was quick to retire the Phillies in order – Bohm struck out, and then Stott flew out. To end the inning, Segura popped out. Suarez continued to pitch in the bottom of the eighth and he got Bregman to groundout before he allowed a single to Tucker. Seranthony Dominguez was brought in at this point and he did his job; he got Gurriel to ground out and struck out Mancini. Ryan Pressly came in for Houston at the top of the ninth and had a 1-2-3 inning, getting Marsh out on a ground ball. He then struck out Schwarber and got Hoskins to pop out. Dominguez was kept in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and keep it tied at 5-5. He did so as he struck out McCormick and then Christian Vazquez who pinch-hit for Maldonado. Altuve singled, and after a lost challenge by Philadelphia, he stole second base. To end the ninth, Pena flew out to Castellanos who had an amazing diving catch to send the game to extra innings.
Luis Garcia was brought in to pitch for Houston. Realmuto didn’t care who was pitching, he just wanted to end the game and did so by slamming a go-ahead home run. Harper continued the momentum with a single before Castellanos and Bohm grounded out. With two outs, Ryne Stanek was brought in and after Stott was walked, Stanek got Segura with a line out. The Phillies brought David Robertson in for the bottom of the tenth, and replaced Bohm with Edmundo Sosa. After Robertson struck out Alvarez, he gave up a double to Bregman before striking out Tucker. Gurriel was walked and a mound visit occurred. The visit seemed to do the trick as after Aledmys Diaz replaced Mancini at the plate, he grounded out to end the game. Philadelphia won game one 6-5.
Game 2 | In Houston, HOU Wins 5-2
You Get a Double, You Get a Double
With Framber Valdez on the hill for Houston, the Phillies had their work cut out for them. Valdez was strong; he got Schwarber out with a groundball before he allowed Hoskins to walk. Valdez quickly rectified the situation, as he struck out Realmuto and got Harper to lineout. Zack Wheeler had the nod for Philadelphia and promptly gave up doubles to Altuve and Pena. Score 1-0 Houston on just three pitches.
He got the first out as Bregman grounded out. Tucker then flew out, but Gurriel was safe on by an error by Sosa which scored Alvarez. Diaz struck out to end the hard first inning for Wheeler. Valdez continued to be a workhorse as he struck out Castellanos before walking Bohm. Valdez then struck out Segura and Matt Vierling ended the inning with a ground out. Wheeler recovered quickly after he allowed a walk to McCormick and then struck out Maldonado. Altuve popped out and Pena lined out to end the second and keep the damage minimal.
Double Plays All Around
To start the third inning, Sosa was struck out before Schwarber singled. Schwarber was stranded as Hoskins struck out and Realmuto grounded out. Wheeler was back to his ace form, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. Even though he walked Alvarez, Bregman grounded into a double play before Tucker flew out into center field. Valdez fired back in the top of the fourth as Harper struck out, Castellanos grounded out and Bohm struck out. Wheeler continued to be a workhorse as Gurriel and Diaz grounded out before he allowed a single to McCormick. McCormick was stranded as Maldonado lined out. The Phillies went 1-2-3 in their half, as Segura singled but Vierling grounded into a double play before Sosa struck out. Wheeler struggled in the bottom of the fifth as Altuve singled, before Pena struck out. Alvarez grounded out, but then Bregman hit a home run, making the score 5-0, Houston. Wheeler allowed a walk to Tucker and then ended the inning getting Gurriel with a ground out.
Pinch Hitting Galore
The top of the sixth started with a walk to Schwarber. Hoskins singled before a successful mound visit. Realmuto struck out and Harper hit into a double play. Andrew Bellatti was brought in to pitch the bottom of the sixth. Diaz popped out, McCormick grounded out and Maldonado struck out. The top of the seventh started with Castellanos hitting a double. Bohm grounded out before the Astros brought Montero in. Segura hit a sacrifice fly which allowed Castellanos to score. Nick Maton pinch hit for Vierling and he lined out. Instead of sending Maton playing to the outfield, Marsh was brought in, and Connor Brogdon went to the mound. Brogdon was efficient, allowing Altuve a single before he was caught stealing. Pena flew out and Alvarez struck out to end the seventh.
The End of Game 2
In the top of the eighth, Stott pinch hit for Sosa and walked. Schwarber flew out, followed by Hoskins who struck out. Realmuto singled, but he and Stott were stranded when Harper flew out. Brad Hand was brought in to pitch in the bottom of the eighth, he struck Bregman out to start. He then got Tucker out with a groundout and Gurriel flew out. Houston brought in Pressly to pitch and made a defensive switch, sending Mauricio Dubon to left field instead of Diaz. Castellanos struck out to start the inning but then Bohm doubled. Segura flew out, and Marsh reached base on a fielding error which allowed Bohm to score and Marsh to advance to second. Marsh was stranded as Stott grounded out to end the game. Houston tied the series 1-1 with their 5-2 win.
Game 3 | In Philadelphia, PHL Wins 7-0
Another Year, Another Rain Delay
Philadelphia is no stranger to rain delays, especially in Game 3 of a playoff series. Rain has delayed Game 3 in 1993, 2008, 2009, and now 2022. After a one-day postponement, Game 3 began with Suarez on the mound for Philadelphia. Altuve lined out to right field, Pena grounded out and Alvarez struck out – a 1-2-3 inning for Suarez against Houston. Lance McCullers Jr., had the nod for Houston and allowed a leadoff walk to Schwarber, before he struck out Hoskins and got Realmuto to pop out. Harper once again performed heroics as he hit a 2-run home run but Castellanos grounded out to end the inning. To start the second, Bregman and Tucker grounded out before Suarez gave up singles to both Gurriel and Hensley. McCormick struck out to end the inning.
Harper whispered something into Bohm’s ear before Bohm went to the plate. What was it? We’ll probably never know, but what did it do? The advice worked, as Bohm crushed a first pitch homerun, making the score 3-0. Stott and Segura struck out before Marsh continued the home run party, crushing a homer to center field. Houston challenged the call, which stood as a home run. Schwarber grounded out to end the inning. With a 4-0 lead in the top of the third, Suarez struck out Maldonado before Altuve lined out and Pena grounded out. The home run party fizzled for Philadelphia as in the bottom of the third, Hoskins and Realmuto struck out before Harper grounded out. Suarez had another 1-2-3 inning on the mound, he got Alvarez and Bregman to ground out before Tucker flew out to center field to end the top of the fourth. McCullers was efficient too, as Castellanos grounded out, Bohm flew out to center field and Stott grounded out in the bottom of the fourth.
The top of the fifth started with Gurriel grounding out and Hensley striking out. Suarez allowed a walk to McCormick and Maldonado reached base on a single. Altuve popped out to end the inning. The bottom of the fifth started with Segura grounding out. Marsh then singled to right before Schwarber hit a two-run blast, making the score 6-0, Philadelphia. McCullers was visited on the mound, but the advice was not as good as Harper’s to Bohm – Hoskins hit a solo home run. The score was then 7-0, Philadelphia. Houston brought Stanek in and he struck out both Realmuto and Harper to end the inning. Brogdon was brought in to replace Suarez on the mound. After he gave up a single to Pena, he got Alvarez to line out to right field. He got Bregman to pop out to Bohm and then Tucker struck out. Jose Urquidy replaced Stanek on the mound for Houston. Castellanos singled before Bohm walked, but both runners were stranded as Stott struck out, Segura popped out and Marsh flew out.
The Bullpen Relay
Kyle Gibson made his World Series debut for Philadelphia in the top of the seventh. Gurriel flew out to center field, Hensley struck out before McCormick singled. Gibson got Maldonado on a ground out to end the top of the seventh. The bottom was a 1-2-3 inning, as Schwarber struck out, Hoskins flew out to center and Realmuto struck out. Nick Nelson also made his World Series debut for Philadelphia, in the top of the eighth. Altuve grounded out, before Nelson allowed Pena to walk. Alvarez flew out to center before Nelson gave up another walk to Bregman. The Phillies had a quick pow-wow on the mound before Nelson faced Tucker. Tucker flew out to left field to end the top of the eighth. The bottom of the eight went quickly for Philadelphia. Harper popped out, Castellanos struck out, and Bohm flew out in foul territory. The top of the ninth brought many changes for Philadelphia. Vierling was put in right to replace Castellanos, Sosa went to third for Bohm and Bellatti was brought in to pitch. Bellatti got the job done as Gurriel popped out. Mancini was a pinch hitter for Hensley and flew out to right. McCormick struck out to end the game. The Phillies won 7-0, and took a lead of 2-1 in the series over the Astros.
Game 4 | In Philadelphia, HOU wins 5-0
Stranding Men on Base
With Nola on the hill for Philadelphia, things started well. Nola got Altuve to line out to center field before striking out Pena. Alvarez singled but was left stranded as Bregman grounded out. Houston had given the pitching nod to Christian Javier and he was efficient. Schwarber flew out to left field, Hoskins flew out to Pena at shortstop and Realmuto struck out. In the second, Nola allowed a lead-off double to Tucker before Gurriel grounded out. Vazquez was hit by a pitch, putting him on first, but he and Tucker were stranded as Diaz and McCormick both struck out. Harper was walked to begin the bottom of the second, but then Castellanos and Bohm struck out. Harper did manage to steal second base but he was left there as Stott popped out to shortstop. Nola had a 1-2-3 third against Houston as Altuve grounded out, Pena struck out and Alvarez lined out to left field to end the top of the inning. To start the bottom of the third, Segura flew out to center. Marsh walked and Schwarber struck out, but not before Marsh stole second. Marsh got stranded as well when Hoskins popped out. Nola had a great start to the fourth. Bregman lined out to center and Tucker lined out to right field. Nola then gave up singles to both Gurriel and Vazquez. Diaz grounded out to end the inning. Javier was quick in the bottom of the fourth. He struck out the side, meaning Realmuto, Harper and Castellanos all struck out.
It All Comes Crashing Down
The fifth was when things began to get worrisome for the Fightins’ fans. Nola allowed a single to both McCormick and Altuve before he was visited on the hill. After the visit he allowed a single to Pena and was taken out of the game. Alvarado was brought in to pitch and promptly hit Alvarez which allowed McCormick to score. Alvarado allowed a double to Bregman which scored two. Tucker hit a sacrifice fly, scoring one, and Gurriel singled scoring another. Over just four batters, Houston took a commanding 5-0 lead. Alvarado struck out Vazquez and Diaz to end the disastrous top of the 5th. Javier took advantage of the lead, continuing to be dominant, striking out Bohm and Stott. Segura popped out in foul territory on the first base side to end the fifth. To start the sixth, Bellatti was brought in to pitch. He struck out McCormick before he got both Altuve and Pena to fly out. Javier got three groundouts on Philadelphia in the bottom of the sixth. Marsh grounded out towards second, and Schwarber and Hoskins both grounded out towards shortstop.
Striking Out the Side
Robertson got the nod to pitch the top of the seventh. He struck out Alavarez, and Bregman flew out to shortstop before Tucker walked. Robertson got Gurriel to pop out to end the inning. Houston brought Abreu in to pitch in the bottom of the seventh and he struck out the side – Realmuto, Harper and Castellanos AGAIN. Eflin came in to start the eighth, and he gave Houston a taste of their own medicine. He struck out the side as well, so Vazquez, Diaz and McCormick all went down on strikeouts. Houston made some changes in the bottom of the eighth. Dubon was brought in to play center, and McCormick went to left, and Montero was brought in to pitch. Bohm struck out to start, and then Stott flew out to left field before Segura lined out to right field.
Hand was brought in to finish the game for Philadelphia. Altuve grounded out and Hand walked Pena. Pena was stranded as Alvarez and Bregman both flew out, the former to center field and the latter to left field. To continue the no-hitter against Philadelphia, Houston brought in Pressly. Marsh struck out, but Pressly walked Schwarber. Hoskins flew out to right field and Realmuto grounded out to end the game. Houston had a combined no-hitter. It was the third in postseason history, the second in World Series history and the second at Citizen’s Bank Park (the first being Roy Halladay’s No Hitter in 2010). Houston won the game 5-0, and tied the series up at two wins for each team. What we did not know at the time is that the Phillies season was effectively over. But on to Games 5 and 6….
Game 5 | In Philadelphia, HOU wins 3-2
What might have been the pivotal game in the series started with Noah Syndergaard on the mound for Philadelphia. It was a rough first inning as Altuve started off with a double and Marsh committed an error which allowed him to get to third. Pena then singled, which allowed Altuve to score. Alvarez struck out, Pena was caught stealing and Bregman struck out to end the top of the first. Houston sent the veteran Verlander out to the mound who immediately, gave up a lead-off Schwar-bomb to Schwarber which tied the game 1-1. Hoskins lined out to left field, Realmuto popped out to second, Harper walked but was left on base as Castellanos flew out to left. Syndergaard continued through the Astros’ lineup, striking out Tucker to start off the second. He got Gurriel to pop out, and then struck out Hensley. Verlander started the bottom of the second by getting both Bohm and Stott to pop out on the left side of the infield. After he allowed a single to Segura and walked Marsh, he was visited on the mound. The visit resulted in a walk to Schwarber, but all three runners were left stranded when, after another mound visit, Verlander struck out Hoskins. Syndergaard continued to be a force to be reckoned withas McCormick and Maldonado both flew out to the outfield and Altuve grounded out in the 1-2-3 inning. Realmuto struck out to start the bottom of the third. Harper walked, Castellanos lined out to Pena at short and Bohm singled. Stott left them stranded as he flew out to right field.
Syndergaard had faced 10 batters, but manager Rob Thomson pushed for 11. It was not the best move as the 11th batter Syndergaard had to face
d was Pena, who promptly hit a solo home run. The Astros were ahead 2-1. Thomson brought Brogdon in to pitch, and he struck out Alvarez , and allowed Bregman to double before striking out both Tucker and Gurriel. Verlander keep Houston’s lead as Segura grounded out and Marsh and Schwarber struck out to end the fourth. Brogdon was kept in for the fifth, and he started by striking out Hensley. McCormick grounded out and then Maldonado struck out to end the top of the fifth. Hoskins and Realmuto struck out to start the bottom of the fifth, then Harper doubled but was stranded as Castellanos flew out to left field to end the inning.
Trying to Save the Game
Alvarado was brought in to pitch in the sixth. After he allowed a single to Altuve, he struck Pena out and got Alvarez to pop out. There was an on-field delay as a fan appeared to come out of the center field ivy and ran around in the outfield. The fan was escorted off the field by security. The commotion must have distracted Alvarado as he hit Bregman. Bregman was awarded first but he and Altuve were left stranded as Tucker grounded out to end the top of the sixth. Verlander was taken out in the bottom of the sixth and Neris was brought in. Bohm started off strong and hit a single before Stott flew out and Segura struck out. Abreu was brought in to face Marsh, but Abreu hit Marsh before getting Schwarber out on an infield ground out. Dominguez was brought in to pitch in the top of the seventh. Gurriel doubled to start, and advanced on a wild pitch. Hensley grounded out but McCormick reached on a fielder’s choice. Gurriel was out at home (and for the rest of the series, possibly with a concussion). Maldonado grounded out to shortstop to end the top of seventh. Abreu continued his attack of the Phillies as Hoskins and Realmuto struck out. Harper popped out to third to end the seventh.
Walks and Strikeouts
After Dominguez walked Altuve, and Pena singled, he was replaced by Robertson in the top of the eighth. Alvarez grounded out, but Altuve scored, making it 3-1 Houston. Bregman was walked and later stole second. Tucker flew out to right field and Mancini, who had replaced Gurriel, struck out. The Astros’ manager, Dusty Baker, sent Montero to the mound for the bottom of the eighth. Castellanos walked, Bohm struck out, Stott walked, and then Segura singled. Segura’s single allowed Castellanos to score, making it 3-2, Houston. At this point, Pressly was brought in to pitch. He struck out Marsh and got Schwarber to ground out to first base. Eflin was brought in to keep the deficit to one and he did his job. Hensley did single but McCormick struck out. Maldonado also singled but Altuve hit into a double play, which took care of Houston for that inning. Pressly was awarded the chance for the save in the bottom of the ninth. Hoskins struck out but Realmuto was out on a fly ball to McCormick (that he caught as he crashed into the wall!). Harper was hit by a pitch, leaving it up to Castellanos to get a tying run to score. Instead, Castellanos grounded out. Houston won Game 5 with a score of 3-2, and took the series lead, also at 3-2.
GAME 6 | In Houston, HOU wins 4-1
Trying to Come Back
Comebacks have happened before, especially in 2019 and 2021, against the Astros specifically. The Phillies tried to be another comeback story. A rematch of game two was slated to happen, as Valdez and Wheeler faced off again. With Valdez on the mound for Houston, things were looking grim. Schwarber walked, but Hoskins hit into a double play. Realmuto was awarded first when he was hit by a pitch but Harper grounded out to end the top of the first. Wheeler was back to a good form, he struck out Altuve before Pena grounded out. Alvarez flew out to left field to end the first. Valdez was also in top form, he struck out Castellanos, allowed a single to Bohm and then struck out Segura. Vierling walked and after a mound visit, Valdez got Sosa to fly out to left field. Wheeler had a 1-2-3 inning against Houston in the bottom of the second. Bregman grounded out, and Tucker walked but it all worked out as Vazquez grounded into a double play. Valdez returned the favor to Philadelphia as he struck out the top of the order in another 1-2-3 inning. Schwarber, Hoskins and Realmuto all struck out. After Mancini singled in the bottom of the third, McCormick broke his bat on a pitch, Wheeler ducked to avoid the bat, got the ball and tossed it to second to get Mancini out. Maldonado grounded out and Altuve struck out to end the third.
Ground Outs All Around
The top of the fourth was quick for Philadelphia. Harper and Castellanos both struck out and Bohm flew out to right field. The bottom was also quick for Houston as after Pena singled, Alvarez fly out to shortstop, Bregman struck out and Tucker grounded out. Valdez had another quick inning on the mound, getting Segura and Vierling out on ground outs and Sosa by striking him out. Wheeler fired back as he got Vazquez out with a ground out before striking out Mancini and McCormick. Valdez gave up a leadoff home run to Schwarber, making it 1-0, Philadelphia, and giving Phans some short-lived hope. Hoskins and Realmuto grounded out for outs one and two and Harper struck out to end the top of the sixth.
Wheeler started the bottom of the sixth by hitting Maldonado. Altuve hit into a force play and Maldonado was out at second. Pena singled and Alvarado was brought in for the Phillies. He gave up a 3-run blast to Alvarez, making the score 3-1, Houston. Alvarado allowed a walk to Bregman and, after he struck Tucker out, was replaced by Dominguez. Vazquez singled which scored Bregman and made the score 4-1, Houston. Mancini grounded out to end the bottom of the sixth. Houston sent Neris to the mound and he was efficient. Castellanos flew out and then Neris struck out both Bohm and Segura. Eflin was brought in for the bottom of the seventh to pitch for Philadelphia. He struck McCormick out, and then Maldonado flew out to left field. Eflin gave up a double to Altuve but he was left stranded when Pena struck out. Houston sent Abreu in for the top of the eighth. Stott pinch hit for Vierling (and later replaced Sosa at shortstop), and lined out to the third base side. Marsh pinch hit for Sosa (and later replaced Vierling in center), and flew out to right field. Schwarber struck out, and left the Phillies with one inning to salvage their World Series dreams.
Ending the Cinderella Story
Robertson was brought in to keep the score 4-1, and he did his job. He struck out Alvarez, and then Bregman doubled but the play was challenged and overturned, so Bregman was out at second. Tucker flew out to left field. Pressly was once again awarded the save opportunity in the top of the ninth. Hoskins flew out to right field and Realmuto singled, which gave fans a last smidgen of hope. Harper flew out to center field and when Castellanos came to the plate, Phillies fans feared it was over. Castellanos flew out to foul territory in right field to end the game and the Cinderella story for these Phillies. Houston won the World Series (4-2, on the series) 4-1. An 87-win team made it to the World Series and fought back, but they weren’t good enough to make it all the way to the finish line. It gave Phillies fans a lot of hope for next year! Congratulations go out to the Houston Astros.