Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock (13522327ad) Houston Astros Kyle Tucker is put out at second base by Philadelphia Phillies Jean Segura in the eighth inning in game one of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Friday, October 28, 2022. 2022 World Series, Houston, Texas, United States – 28 Oct 2022
The Astros finally lost a postseason game; and it puts them in an awkward position as they try to win a second World Series in five years.
Yes, they are still the better team. But the Phillies channeled their inner Astro to take Game 1 of the World Series 6-5 and grab a 1-0 lead in the best of seven series.
The Phillies did to the Astros what the Astros have been doing to other teams all postseason. The Phillies came up with clutch hit after clutch hit – exactly what the Astros usually do. They got the big one on a home run in the 10th from J.T. Realmuto to win it.
It should not have happened.
The Phillies were down 5-0 to Justin Verlander. They rallied to tie the game, then got to Luis Garcia with a short porch home run to right from Realmuto to win the game 6-5 in 10 innings.
It never should have made it to that point. In the bottom of the ninth, Jeremy Pena blooped a shot that Nick Castellanos, part of a terrible defense, somehow caught. If he drops it or misses it, the game is over.
Instead, the Astros are down 1-0 in the best of seven series and their World Series failures to NL East teams suddenly stand front and center. Doubt will creep in. It shouldn’t.
Rest assured the Astros are still the better team. But losing Game 1 gives Philly a chance and maybe gets in the Astros heads.
This was not a great result for an Astros team that has one goal – win the World Series. But they have been resilient all year. They were not going to win every playoff game. Losing Game 1? Not ideal. But lose faith at your own risk. They will bounce back. Framber Valdez, solid all year, takes the ball in Game 2.
Do not give up on these Astros, because they will not give up on themselves. But yes, you should be concerned. Because the lesser team has the upper hand and has faith they can win.
Time for the Astros to be the Astros again. And they should be just that.