World Series Game 2 Preview: facts and storylines for Astros vs. Phillies

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13433374a) Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game, in Houston Rays Astros Baseball, Houston, United States – 30 Sep 2022

World Series Game 2 Preview: facts and storylines for Astros vs. Phillies

If Game 1 was any indication, this will be a very fun World Series. The Astros looked like they might take Game 1 in dominant fashion, but then the Phillies showed why they’re still here, hunkering down and scoring six unanswered runs to pick up the victory. 

Houston finally has a loss on their ledger in this postseason, and you can bet they’ll be out to right the ship in Game 2. Here’s a look at the Saturday night matchup:

Game Facts

 When: Saturday, 10/29/2022, 7:03 p.m. CT

Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

TV/Streaming: FOX / FOX Sports App

Pitching Matchup:  Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.82 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA)

Series: Phillies lead 1-0

Series Schedule

Date & Time (Central)LocationPitching Matchup
Game 1PHI 6, HOU 5Minute Maid Park, HoustonVerlander vs. Nola
Game 2Sat 10/29, 7:03 p.m.Minute Maid Park, HoustonValdez vs. Wheeler
Game 3 Mon 10/31, 7:03 p.mCitizens Bank Park, Philadelphia McCullers Jr. vs. Suarez^
Game 4Tue 11/1, 7:03 p.m.Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Javier vs. Syndergaard^
Game 5*Wed 11/2, 7:03 p.m.Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia TBD
Game 6*Fri 11/4, 7:03 p.m.Minute Maid Park, HoustonTBD
Game 7*Sat 11/5, 7:03 p.m.Minute Maid Park, HoustonTBD
* If necessary.
^ Projected starters

Houston will look to bounce back

After starting the playoffs 7-0 with sweeps in the ALDS and ALCS, Houston was handed their first loss in its biggest game to this point in the postseason. However, they get the opportunity to rinse that taste out of their mouths quickly if they can turn things around and even the series in Game 2. It wasn’t all bad in Game 1, Kyle Tucker’s two-homer night helped start his series off on the right foot, and Jose Altuve also notched a hit, albeit a bloop single, to avoid falling entirely back into the slump that has plagued him in October thus far. Outside of the solo homer served up by Luis Garcia in the tenth, the bullpen continued to show its dominance as well.

While it’s not an elimination game, it’s still “must-win” territory for the Astros, with three games in Philadelphia on deck after Game 2. While not impossible, especially for this team, it would not be an ideal situation to be heading to Philly down 2-0 in the series needing to take at least two of three in enemy territory. 

Big game needed by Valdez

Houston’s 1-2 punch of Verlander and Valdez was among the best in baseball during the regular season. With Verlander’s rough Game 1, it’s on Valdez to try and shoulder a bit more of the load for the duo and replicate what he did in his seven innings of shutout baseball against the Yankees in the ALCS. 

The Astros also had to use all of their big guns from the bullpen in Game 1, so getting a lengthy outing from Valdez will go a long way to keeping the bullpen as fresh as it can be for the remainder of the series. That being said, it’s the World Series, and there’s an off day coming on Sunday, so Dusty Baker will likely be ready and willing to use anyone in any situation to avoid a 2-0 hole in the series. 

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