Game 1 was an absolutely delightful thriller to kick off this weekend. The Astros were looking to continue to mow down their opponents this postseason, while the Phillies seem to be zoned in and just enjoying the ride. And wouldn’t you know, Philadelphia sealed the opener, winning a crucial road game and already putting themselves in a good spot to win the Series.
After a Cy Young-worthy season and with a Hall of Fame resume, Justin Verlander somewhat amazingly was still seeking his first career World Series win. Tonight he cruised through the Phillies offense over the first few innings, but after they had seen the ace once through the lineup, it was a different ballgame. Justin relied on his fastball 66% of the time, but he simply wasn’t missing bats this evening, only drawing a 22% Whiff Rate. Through his five innings, Verlander gave up five earned runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out five.
Verlander’s 90-pitch outing looked like this:
Aaron Nola has been key for the Phillies this postseason, coming in with a 3.12 ERA, but tonight he just didn’t really have it and found himself in a five-run hole early. He worked through his five-pitch arsenal, relying mostly on his fastball and knuckle curve. Nola’s fastball, sinker, and change up were all relatively effective, hovering around a 30% CSW, but the Astros (mainly Kyle Tucker) weren’t messing around tonight. In solidarity with Verlander, he had the same exact stat line, also giving up five runs on six hits.
Nola’s 81-pitch outing looked like this:
Aledmys Dias grounded out to third to end the game in the bottom of the 10th, failing under an 8.20 LI — you hate to see it.
Brutal ending for Diaz, who also faced the most pressure at 8.20 pLI. David Robertson (who worked himself out of that same inning) also had an insanely-high 5.08 pLI.
J.T. Realmuto’s 10th inning bomb to take the 6-5 lead had a WPA of .449. It was a beauty.
You guessed it! J.T. Realmuto had the highest WPA at .678 — one of the highest I’ve seen while writing these!
Hardest hit: Alec Bohm’s two-run double in the fourth came hot off the bat at 109.5 mph.
Weakest contact: Yordan Alvarez had the weakest contact tonight, on a ground out in the third at 34.6 mph.
Luckiest hit: Kyle Schwarber’s infield single in the seventh had an xBA of just .050.
Toughest out: J.T. Realmuto was robbed of another hit on a line out that had an xBA of .680.
Longest hit: Kyle Tucker’s second home run of the night traveled 395 feet.
Magic Number: .027
Heading into tonight, teams that had fallen behind by five or more runs in the World Series had a record of 5-220. With Philadelphia’s comeback tonight, not only did the Astros absorb their first loss of the playoffs, that all-time, five run-deficit record improves to 6-220 — a .027 winning percentage.
Hard-hit is any ball off the bat at 95 mph or more
LI measures pressure per play
pLI measures total pressure faced in-game
Whiff a swing-and-miss
WPA win probability added measures contributions to the win
xBA expected batting average
Who was the MVP of Game 1 of the World Series?
This poll is closed
J.T. Realmuto: 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB, .678 WPA
Nick Castellanos: 1-for-5, H, RBI, 2 K, game-saving catch in the 10th
Alec Bohm: 1-for-5, 2B, 2BI, K, 0.30 WPA
David Robertson: 1 IP, S, BB, 2 K, .189 WPA
Who was the Cold Cat of Game 1 of the World Series?
This poll is closed
Aaron Nola: 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K, -.223 WPA
Justin Verlander: 5 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K, -.187 WPA
Jean Segura: 0-for-5, K, -.135
Trey Mancini: 0-for-4, 2 K, -.121 WPA