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Gamethread: Phillies at Astros (World Series Game 6)

It’s do-or-die as the Phillies send their ace to the bump

World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Six
King Neptune hopes the Phillies have two more wins in them.
Harry How/Getty Images

Up three games to two, the Houston Astros are looking to clinch the World Series at home tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2019 and 2021, the Astros had to watch both the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves celebrate World Series titles at Minute Maid Park, so Houston is hoping to reverse fortunes tonight.

It goes without saying, there’s plenty at stake tonight in Game 6. Can the Fightin’ Phils awaken their sleepy offense? Can Houston finally win Dusty Baker his long-sought World Series championship? Here’s hoping that the contest brings the tension and excitement that makes baseball America’s favorite pastime.

The Phillies are giving the ball to their ace, Zack Wheeler, who has been fantastic for most of the 2022 postseason but struggled in his last outing, Game 2 of the World Series. In that contest, Wheeler took the loss after the Astros hit him hard right from the start. He surrendered four earned runs on six hits, three walks, and three strikeouts in only five innings pitched. Before that game, Wheeler had only given up five total runs in his previous four postseason starts. According to the Phillies, Wheeler is experiencing some arm fatigue, as evidenced by a drop in his fastball velocity his last time out. Due to the rainout, Wheeler got an extra day of rest, and the Phillies are hoping that is all he needs to force the Astros to a winner-take-all Game 7 tomorrow night.

The Astros are sending Framber Valdez to the mound tonight, anticipating another great outing and a World Series clinch. Valdez faced off against Wheeler in Game 2, where he walked away the victor after giving up only one run on four hits, striking out nine over 6 13 innings. However, some thought that Valdez was almost TOO good, and there was a bit of speculation on Twitter about Valdez possibly using a foreign substance. He was checked several times by umpires throughout the game, and nothing was ever discovered. He switched gloves and cleats halfway through the game, which some also found suspicious. The cheating scandal of 2017 will continue to follow the Astros, and deservedly so. Nonetheless, in the three 2022 postseason games that Valdez has pitched, he has been tremendous: 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA, 24 strikeouts, and .95 WHIP in 19 innings.

You can watch Game 6 on FOX at 7:03 CT. MLB decided to close the roof of Minute Maid Park for tonight’s game.

Here is the starting lineup for Philadelphia:

Here is the starting lineup for Houston:

1. Jose Altuve, 2B
2. Jeremy Peña, SS
3. Yordan Alvarez, LF
4. Alex Bregman, 3B
5. Kyle Tucker, RF
6. Christian Vázquez, DH
7. Trey Mancini, 1B
8. Chas McCormick, CF
9. Martín Maldonado, C