Will the Astros be forgiven for cheating if they beat the Phillies?
Bob Nightingale and Steve Gardner of USA TODAY Sports join Sports Seriously to play the “Fair or Foul” World Series edition.
Sports seriously, USA TODAY
HOUSTON – The Houston Astros’ confidence never wavered, but when they sat at their club late Saturday night, they couldn’t help but exhale.
They needed Show the Philadelphia Phillies who they are. They needed to be intimidated. They needed to control.
“Really, we just needed to win,” said Astros midfielder Chas McCormick.
The Astros smashed the Phillies, 5-2, at Minute Maid Park, setting up the evening’s World Championships with a score of 1-1 apiece, stifling the Phillies’ momentum.
Four playgrounds. Three pairs. Shotan.
This was the first time in the history of the World Championships that a team opened a game with three strikes in a row for the extra base.
Zack Wheeler didn’t know what hit him.
“It was amazing, it just felt like you put 10 runs into that role,” McCormick said. “When we start, it’s contagious.
“This is this team. We are relentless. We have been in the postseason a lot. We are used to this environment. We love it. We feed on it.”
Jose Altuve, who entered the game scoring 0.108 this post-season, unhurt 25 rackets in one stint, erupted deep into the Texas heartland.
Doubled in the first pitch of the match. He chose the position in the fifth inning. Allocate to the right in the seventh inning.
“This guy’s right here,” said Alex Bregman, the Astros’ third baseman, referring to Altoff at the post-match press conference. It was wonderful. I feel like it was the swing of the bat that started the match that got the fans into that, and we got our hideout, and kept our attack going. ”
Altuve was upset about his struggles, but refused to let his confidence dwindle, pondering the video, and taking extra hitting exercises, with all his teammates expecting it would only be a matter of time.
“That’s the beauty of baseball,” said Will Smith, Astros loyalist. “You could be oh for a million, show up the next day, get three hits and be a champ. It keeps clogging away and eventually has to get its way. It can’t rain forever.
And now, there may be nothing holding him back.
Game Three star Lance McCullers said, “There are a lot of guys in our club leading us, a lot of guys in our club who are loud and things like that. But Altuve is the heart of this team. It’s been since I’ve been Astro. So when he goes, he feels Our team was very confident, and you saw it the way we started.”
The Astros led 3-0 after the first inning, 5-0 after the fifth with Bregman marking his sixth career World Championship title, the most third baseman in history.
The rest of the match was spent hitting coach Troy Sneaker up and down the bench, pleading with his players to stay equal.
A day earlier, this Astros became only the sixth team in World Championship history to top the lead by five runs.
“This team has a short memory of bad events and bad games,” said Astros director Dusty Becker. “You cannot bring yesterday into today or it will continue. You have to start over and realize that it is a new day.”
Matches returned in their favour for the next two games, and the team is already looking to play in Philadelphia.
It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be crazy, and it’s going to be intense,” McCormick, a Philadelphia native, said.
The stars were booed wherever they went and now for the first time, they’ll have these frenzied Phillies fans expressing their feelings.
“It’s going to be somewhat wild, maybe real wild,” Smith said. ‘We’ll be ready. Just another day at the park.’
On Saturday, they were facing Wheeler, one of the hottest shooters in baseball. He’s entered the game with 1.78 ERAs in this post-season, and 1.34 ERAs going back to his last seven starts since dropping off the injured list — the lowest Phillies pitcher count since Grover Cleveland Alexander.
He went up the hill, and was fully ambushed, as the Astros decided to swing early and swing a lot
Wheeler said, “It’s everyone’s plan to play against me, either try to get the first pitch or jump on the fast ball. I kind of expected it, but swinging the first two pitches, it is what it is. …
“They were just aggressive. I tried to match their aggressiveness and get out of corners a little bit more, and they came out swinging.”
It was a thing of beauty and what makes them a dangerous team. They can hit you with their deadly attack or dominant throw, with player #2 Framber Valdez only dropping four hits and hitting nine in 6 runs. They play an impressive defense.
When they put it all together, well, they dare stop them.
“In all honesty, this is probably the most fun baseball game ever,” says Bergman.
Just wait for Game 3 – where the fun really begins.
“We’re ready for it,” McCormick said. “It’s going to be loud. We’ll be booed.
“I can not wait.”
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