The Houston Astros won the WS by winning game 6, 4-1, over the Philadelphia Phillies last night. Rookie SS Jeremy Pena, who won the ALCS MVP over the Yankees, made it a double by winning the WS MVP as well by hitting .400 (10 for 25). He became the first AL Player to achieve that double.
For Houston manager Dusty Baker, he finally wins a WS as a manager, at the age of 73. Some stats from MLB.com (I won’t list all): Baker won a WS title as a player for the Dodgers in 1981. Now this. 41-year difference. He is the only man to win a postseason MVP award (1977 NLCS MVP) and win a title as manager. He isn’t just the oldest World Series-winning manager, he’s the oldest manager or head coach in MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL history to win a championship, per STATS.
This is mind-blowing: Just how long has Baker been around? When he made his managerial debut on April 6, 1993 with the Giants, the opposing team’s leadoff hitter was Geronimo Peña, the father of Jeremy Peña, who won ALCS and World Series MVPfor the Astros this postseason. That outstanding connection was noted by NBC Sports Chicago’s Chris Kamka. What goes around comes around!
It’s not just about the postseason wait. It’s the regular-season time spent, too. Baker has managed 3,884 regular-season games, 10th-most all-time, which is also the most at the time of a manager’s first title.
The manager with most games managed without winning a title is Gene Mauch. Dusty was getting close to Mauch, just 58 games away. He doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. The manager now that is closest to Mauch? Buck Showalter, who is 653 games short of Mauch. (Just over 4 years).
More from MLB.com:
Among 94 teams that saw their bullpens log 35 or more innings in a single postseason, the Astros accomplished all of this:
• The lowest ERA: 0.83, with just five earned runs over 54 1/3 innings • The lowest opponents’ batting average: .126 • The lowest opponents’ on-base percentage: .215 • The lowest opponents’ slugging percentage: .208 • The lowest WHIP: 0.75
Houston’s bullpen is also the first to throw at least 40 innings in a single postseason and post a sub-1.00 ERA.
In Game 6, Kyle Schwarber broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth with a HR, but after Phillies’ Manager Rob Thomson made a pitching change, Yordan Alvarez hit a 3-run HR (a 450 ft bomb) in the bottom of the sixth. Houston tacked on another run later in the inning and that was all the runs scored in the game.
The Phillies, who were no-hit in Game 4, only managed three hits in this game.
Houston heads back home with 3 games to 2 Series lead after a 3-2 win in Game 5.
Justin Verlander finally got his first WS win (1-6, 5.63 now in WS play) but it wasn’t easy. Verlander pitched 5 innings and only gave up 1 run, but with four hits and four walks, was in trouble all night. His second pitch of the game was hit for a HR by Kyle Schwarber.
Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena combined for 5 of Houston’s 9 hits. Pena homered.
But two defensive plays, one by Trey Mancini and first base in the eighth inning and one by Chas McCormick in CF in the ninth inning, saved the day for the Astros.
On October 8, 1956, my father, an uncle and at least one of their friends were at Yankee Stadium as Don Larsen threw a perfect game in Game 5 of the World Series that year. The win put the Yanks up 3 games to 2 in a WS they would win in 7.
I don’t know who was there at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia last night that I would know personally, as four Astros pitchers (Cristian Javier, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly) combined to no-hit the Phillies in a 5-0 victory that evened the WS at two games apiece.
On June 25 of this year, I, along with about 40 other members of the Lehigh Valley Yankees Fan Club, were at Yankee Stadium when the Astros threw a combined no-hitter and no-hit the Yankees in a 3-0 Houston win. The pitchers then were Javier, Hector Neris, and Pressley.
I wondered about using Javier instead of Verlander in Game 4. Guess I was wrong. Now the Astros have the upper hand (it appears) since Game 5 tonight will feather the Phils’ Noah Syndergaard vs. Houston ace and future HOF Justin Verlander.
But Verlander is 0-6, 6.07 in WS play (even the great ones have bad postseasons). This is his chance to finally redeem himself.
But also wondering…. if this goes to a Game 7, will it be Nola vs. Javier again, each on 3 days rest?
How will the Phils bounce back? After all, I have always thought that the most OVERRATED HR in history was Carlton Fisk’s HR in Game 6 of the 1975 WS. After all, Boston then lost Game 7.This no-hitter is a wonderful and historic feat, but if the Phils win the WS, it, in the long run, won’t mean as much.
The other postseason no-no came via the Phils’ Roy Halladay, who no-hit the Reds in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS, and that also was at Citizens’ Bank Park in Philadelphia. I do know a couple of people who were at that one.
Jose Trevino and D.J. LeMahieu were named winners of the Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence yesterday. For catcher Trevino, it is his first. For LeMahieu, his fourth, but first in a newly created category for utility men.
Nominated for the award but losing out were Yankee P Jameson Taillon, 1B Anthony Rizzo and LF Andrew Benintendi. Why OF Aaron Judge, an excellent defender as well as slugger, wasn’t nominated, escapes me.
Trevino was also up for, but lost out on, the Roberto Clemente Award for community service. That was won by Justin Turner of the Dodgers.
A couple of guys with Yankees’ ties were interviewed for, but didn’t get, managerial positions. One was current Yankees’ bench coach Carlos Mendoza, another was former Yankees coach Joe Espada, and another was former Yankees 2B Miguel Cairo. Cairo took over as interim manager for the White Sox when 76-year-old Tony LaRussa’s health failed him and forced him to retire again. Instead, the White Sox went with Pedro Grifol and the Royals have chosen Matt Quataro. These follow Texas’ choice to bring Bruce Bochy out of retirement.
The Astros got hammered by the Phillies in Game 3 of the WS last night 7-0. The Phils hit five HR, and before one of them, Bryce Harper, who had homered, was giving advice to Alec Bohm, who then homered. Could Harper have seen something that Astro starter Lance McCullers, Jr. was tipping pitches? McCullers denies doing so of course, but you have to wonder.
The Phils took a two-games-to one lead in the Series, and the decisions of both managers regarding their rotations now are a factor. With the rainout, Phillies’ manager Rob Thomson (a former Yankees coach) switched off of Game 3 scheduled starter Noah Syndergaard to Ranger Suarez, keeping Aaron Nola on his regular rest for Game 4. Suarez rewarded the Phils with shutout pitching. Meanwhile, Astros’ manager Dusty Baker kept his rotation the same, starting McCullers, who got rocked, and instead of bringing back Justin Verlander for Game 4, appears to be sticking with Cristian Javier. Javier better come through, because if the Phils win Game 4 to go up three games to one, Philadelphia will REALLY be rocking for Game 5. Of course, Verlander has been surprisingly bad in WS play, going 0-6, 6.07. But you think sooner or later he’d pitch a good one, right? But the choice of whether to switch after the rainout (Thomson did) or not (Baker) could play a huge part as far as the Series is concerned.
Game 3 of the WS was postponed last night and will be played tonight, weather permitting. The series is tied at a game apiece.
So, a few thoughts in the meantime.
First off, I won’t post anything regarding free agency until it happens or there is a great certainty that it will happen. Reading all this conjecture about Aaron Judge going to SF, the Dodgers, staying with the Yankees, is all bullshit. When you read predictions about who is going where and for how much each year, what percentage of those predictions is actually accurate? Answer: Not many. So, until something happens, I will do my best not to spread unfounded rumors.
Justin Turner of the Dodgers won the Roberto Clemente Award for community service. The Yankees’ nominee was Jose Trevino.
A couple of managerial decisions have been made, with the biggest surprise probably being Bruce Bochy (3 WS rings, future HOF) coming out of retirement to manage Texas.
The Yanks will be keeping Aaron Boone as manager, and most likely Brain Cashman as GM as well. I think the retention of Cashman (and by retaining him, he’d retain Boone) is tied into the Judge situation. You don’t want a novice GM trying to work out the details of trying to re-sign Judge, whose contract could be not only very expensive, but also very involved and intricate.
For the fifth time since they last went to the World Series in 2009 (2010, 2012, 2017, 2019 and now 2022), the Yankees are in the ALCS. For the third time in six years, their opponent will be the Houston Astros (the Yanks lost to Texas in 2010 and lost to Detroit in 2012. 2012 was when Jeter broke his ankle).
Of course, Yankees fans are hoping for a different outcome this time around. There won’t be any rest after beating Cleveland 5-1 in Game 5 of the ALDS yesterday. Game 1 of the ALCS is in Houston tonight. Not only that, but the only off-day in the ALCS is between Game 2 and 3. There isn’t one between Game 5 and 6 (if it gets that far). We’ll get into that in a bit.
The Yankees are 28-2 in games in which both Aaron Judge and Gaincarlo Stanton homer. That includes yesterday’s game.
The Yanks jumped out right away to a 3-0 lead, putting the pressure on the Guardians right away and getting the crowd right into the game. Gleyber Torres led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, and after Judge struck out, Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch. Stanton then hit a 3-run HR.
Judge homered in the second to make it 4-0. Say what you will, since Judge was 4 for 20 in the series with 2 HR and a ton of strikeouts, but he has homered in four separate do-or-die postseason games.
Nasty Nestor Cortes was fabulous on 3 days’ rest. He went five innings, giving up only one run, and Cleveland should not have received that. I don’t know what it was in this series with Cleveland hitting balls into short LF that the LF, 3B or SS couldn’t catch. With one out and a man on first in the top of the third, Steven Kwan (yes, him again) hit a ball to short LF that Oswaldo Cabrera, Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks all converged on, with Cabrera calling for it. Cabrera collided with Hicks and the ball fell in for a single. Hicks had to be removed from the game with an injury that ends his season. We will have to see who replaces him on the postseason roster. Candidates are Oswald Peraza (since the Yanks benched SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa for Games 4 and 5), D.J. LeMahieu and Andrew Benintendi.
Another candidate for the ALCS roster is Ron Marinaccio, who declared his sore shin ok to go.
Anyway, a walk loaded the bases after Kwan’s single, and a SF cut the Yanks’ lead to 4-1 before Cortes got out of the inning.
The Yanks scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Torres walked and stole second. Judge struck out, but Rizzo singled to make it 5-1.
Judge 2 hits, solo HR. Stanton 3-run HR.
Cortes (WIN) 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 W, 2 K. Loaisiga 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. Holmes 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. Peralta 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K. Pitched in all five ALDS games.
The LCS will have a pitching problem for the Yanks. Down 2 games to 1 in the ALDS, the Yanks had to use their two best pitchers, Cole and Cortes, in Games 4 and 5 in order to advance, so Cole and Cortes won’t be available until Games 3 and 4. Jameson Taillon starts Game 1 tonight. He and Luis Severino are going to have to step up big-time. Here is how I see the rotation for the ALCS shaking out.
Game 1, Oct. 19 (tonight) Taillon (hasn’t pitched much recently) Game 2 Oct 20 Severino OCT 21 OFF DAY Game 3 Oct 22 Cole (five days rest) Game 4 Oct 23 Cortes Game 5 Oct 24 if necessary Taillon Game 6 Oct 25 if necessary Severino Game 7 Oct 26 if necessary, Cole on three days’ rest. Could Cortes give an inning or two on 2-days rest?
For the first time in MLB history, an LDS and LCS game were played on the same day. Shortly after the Yanks and Cleveland wrapped up an LDS, the Phillies and Padres opened the NLCS with the Phillies winning Game 1 2-0 behind HR by Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. There were only four hits in the game. 3 by the Phillies and only one by the Padres.