HOUSTON TAKES GAME 5, ONE WIN AWAY FROM WORLD SERIES TITLE
2022-11-05 · 2 min read · MLB/Baseball
Doug Mills/NY Times | Toronto Star
When Dusty Baker made the move to bring in Ryan Pressly in Game 4, there were those who questioned the strategy of using Houston’s best reliever - the game was completely in-hand, with no signs that Philadelphia would manage to score one, much less five, in the ninth regardless. But Pressly came in to shut the door, and the rest is history.
Fast forward twenty-four hours later, and Ryan Pressly was once again called upon - although this time, it was to get out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the eighth with the Astros up 3-2. A stressful task for anyone, much less someone who threw the day before, to try and get a five-out save in the World Series. Seven pitches later, Pressly hopped down the dugout steps. Two outs recorded, three to go.
One of a handful of scoring chances just passed Philly by in a pivotal spot, and everyone in the stadium knew it. Until the eighth inning, neither team had been able to amount much of anything - Jeremy Pena singled a run home in the top of the first, followed by a Kyle Schwarber blast in the bottom half put the score at 1-1, after one. In the top of the fourth, Pena homered off Phils’ starter Noah Syndergaard to make it 2-1, and it stayed that way for four innings. An RBI groundout by the struggling Yordan Alvarez pushed it to 3-1 through seven and a half, with a Jean Segura RBI knock in the bottom half - right before Pressly’s call - to shrink the lead to 3-2.
Time for the ninth! Houston 3, Philadelphia 2.
Although giving up a pair of singles, Phillies’ reliever Zach Eflin escaped the top with no damage after inducing a double-play ball off the bat of Jose Altuve. Once again, Ryan Pressly took the mound to face Hoskins, Realmuto, and Harper.
Four sliders, a curve, and a fastball ended Rhys Hoskins’ day, and so it was Realmuto’s turn. On the third pitch of the at-bat, the Phillies’ catcher crushed a slider to deep right field - a surefire double, maybe even a triple. And that would have been true had Chas McCormick been born a righty, but the Astros’ centerfielder had other ideas. A sprinting, crashing jump into the right-center fence, and there were two outs in the ninth. Realmuto’s extra-base hit died as a figment of imagination, thanks to McCormick’s leftyness resulting in an easier route to the ball.
Two gone, and the man of the town Bryce Harper strolled to the plate. And…Harper’s hit - anticlimactic, sure, but Philly would take it as Pressly slapped his glove. Nick Castellanos came up next and, after a tough battle, smacked a grounder to none other than Jeremy Pena. Game over, 3-2 Houston. 9 innings from a World Series.
And that brings us to today, Game 6. Back in Houston at Minute Maid Park, Framber Valdez will try to bring the Astros a championship. Zack Wheeler, well he’ll try to make sure this isn’t the last Phillies game of the season. Friday’s off-day means everyone’s available, and if Houston does win the whole thing, it’ll likely be Ryan Pressly recording the final out. First pitch for Game 6 flies at 8:03pm.
By: Gus Cousins