All the Astros need is just one more victory to repeat glory. On Thursday night, in a low-scoring game, they defeated the Phillies 3-2 in Game 5 with help of productive Jeremy Peña, Justin Verlander, Ryan Pressly, and even a ninth-inning, heroic catch by Chas McCormick to retire JT Realmuto. The World Series comes back to Houston and the Astros can reach the trophy in front of their beloved fans either on Saturday or Sunday.
The beginning of the night was a bit different than the rest of the contest as both teams scored in the first inning. The Astros cracked the scoreboard thanks to an RBI single by Peña while Verlander allowed a Kyle Schwarber game-tying moonshot in the bottom of the first.
We're in your Dreams and Nightmares. pic.twitter.com/x8HuD4JZCD— Houston Astros (@astros) November 4, 2022
However, Verlander and Noah Syndergaard hung up some zeroes until the fourth inning when Peña scorched his fourth postseason home run to put Houston ahead in the score 2-1. It was barely a 350-foot long ball that helped the youngster become the first-ever rookie shortstop to hit a four-bagger in World Series history. Peña, 25, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Thor: Love and Thunder ⛈ pic.twitter.com/1WZwZl1fxQ— Houston Astros (@astros) November 4, 2022
That was enough for Verlander who got out of jams and took his first World Series career win despite giving up four hits and as many walks across five innings. The lone run allowed by the living legend was Schwarber’s round-tripper to begin the game. At 39 years old, JV became the oldest starting pitcher to win a WS game since 40-year-old Curt Schilling won Game 2 for the Red Sox against the Rockies in 2007.
In the top eight, the Astros added what seemed like an insurance run but ended up making the difference as Yordan Álvarez grounded out and recorded the RBI by bringing home José Altuve with the Astros’ third run.
The Astros got in trouble in the bottom eight with Rafael Montero allowing an RBI single to Jean Segura to shrink the gap 3-2. Two hitters later, Trey Mancini made a game-saving catch at first bases to rob Kyle Schwarber of at least a game-tying, extra-base hit.
TREY MANCINI. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! pic.twitter.com/o6HtgAKStW— Houston Astros (@astros) November 4, 2022
The defense played a huge role again in the ninth inning. After Pressly, who entered in the eighth, struck out Rhys Hoskins to get the first out, JT Realmuto hit a line drive that was gonna hit the center-field wall but Chas McCormick had other plans! McCormick made the play of the night to avoid a standing double that would have put the Astros in an ugly position with Realmuto on second and Bryce Harper hitting with just one out.
Just in case you want to watch it again.#AstrosTopPlay presented by @MethodistHosp pic.twitter.com/XFJ3A1OM9U— Houston Astros (@astros) November 4, 2022
Pressly plunked Harper and then retired Nick Castellanos to seal the victory and send the Astros back home leading the World Series 3-2. While the Fall Classic moves back to Minute Maid Park, the Astros dream of becoming champions for the second time in history.
In a matchup for the ages, Framber Valdez and Zack Wheeler are announced as Game 6 starters. Both have been really good not only during the postseason but also in the regular season. You better not bite your nails ‘till Saturday!