This was the kind of game I expected throughout the series. Astros pitching holding down the Phillies sluggers while the offense did just enough to win in a nail-biter.
Where to start?
Justin Verlander broke the jinx. He finally won a World Series game.
But it wasn’t easy. And it looked a lot like he would have yet another World Series meltdown. On his second pitch, Kyle Scwarber tomahawked a high fastball into the right-field seats, and every Astros fan said in unison, “Take him out now.”
In the second inning, Verlander loaded the bases with the help of two walks but got his first strikeout on Rhys Hoskins to escape further damage.
In the third inning, Verlander stranded two runners, but he was perfect in the fourth and fifth innings.
Verlander got stronger as the game went on, finishing with 94 pitches, allowing four hits and four walks while striking out six.
The Astros gave Justin an early lead, thanks to a leadoff double that landed Jose Altuve on third thanks to an outfield error and a Jeremy Peña RBI single.
With the score tied 1-1, Peña added another run in the fourth with a solo homer off Phillies starter Noah Syndergaard, Peña’s fourth post-season homer.
In innings six and seven, Hector Neris and Bryan Abreu held the Phils, and in the eighth, the Astros added an insurance run. Jose Altuve led off with a walk and took third on another Peña single. Altuve scored on a Yordan Alvarez RBI ground out.
The Astros would need the insurance as an Astros reliever finally ran into trouble. Rafael Montero walked two batters. Then Jean Segura would bring the Phillies to within one run, scoring Nick Castellanos with a single to right.
Dusty Baker removed Montero in favor of Ryan Pressly, who had runners on first and third with one out. Pressly struck out Brandon Marsh and Kyle Scwarber to ice the Phillies' threat.
Pressly stayed in for the ninth inning to get three more outs
He got his third straight K by getting Rhys Hoskins to whiff. However, J.T. Realmuto looked like he would tie the score with a blast to right-center field. But Chas McCormick climbed the wall and stole a sure double to get out two, with Bryce Harper up next.
Harper got hit by a pitch, and it was apparent that Pressly was tiring. But on a 3-2 pitch, Pressly got Nick Castellanos to ground out to Jeremy Peña to end the game.
So who’s MVP?
Jeremy Pena, with two RBI and a homer.
Justin Verlander, who gave the Astros five innings of one-run ball.
Or Ryan Pressly, who shut down the heart of the Phillies order, getting the last five outs to save the win.
Choose in the poll below.
Who was the Game 5 MVP?
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