Opening Night

The World Series duel we wanted! Bryce Harper versus Justin Verlander. Who won the battle? While Verlander continued to make history by tying Roger Clemens to ever make a World Series start in three decades and tying Jon Lester to making his 12th 1st start we saw what we expected. He choked! And he’d had a history of doing so. Verlander, being probably one of the best pitchers in history and the best pitcher in this MLB regular season, gave up 5 runs in 5 innings. He now equals the top of the list in MLB’s worst ERA in World Series history with a 6.07. Well, that surely stinks. Did Harper cause this? No, not really. It was Phillies’ sneaky catcher in, JT Realmuto, who had been statistically the best hitter against fastballs on the team. Hitting a game-leading home run in extras and the overall team having a great performance, Philadelphia one the initial first game. Putting pressure on Houston and leading to an interesting game 2.

Houston doing them

Well, they did as they were expected; they bounced back. A team that goes undefeated in the postseason to this point doesn’t do it for no apparent reason. They have great contact hitters, and they have solid pitching for the most part. Their best ace, in my opinion, Framber Valdez, put on a clinic. With Valdez only giving up 1 run through almost 7 innings in the World Series, that was something to see. Houston’s bats came alive again, scoring 5 in the first inning, and they easily tied the series.

What to know from here on out

With the aces out of the way, I’m interested to see who can actually hit the ball better. Who’s going to step up when it’s needed? With Jose Altuve coming alive again recently after an abysmal .093 ERA almost throughout the postseason, will he make the difference? Will Bryce Harper keep historically rolling? Who will be the x-factors? We have to see more from Houston’s slugger Yordan Alvarez. Phillies cast around Bryce are stepping up; we need to see the same from Houston. With the World Series now heading to Philadelphia in Citizens Bank Park, we see a game three matchup in Lance McCullers versus Noah Syndergaard. With each pitcher having a history of being elite and then falling into mediocrity, who decides to regain some ground? Or does it just end in a slugfest for the offense?

For this game, I’m sorry, Philadelphia, but I don’t think Noah performs like New York “Thor” in the old days. And I think McCullers bounces back from his so-so start against the Yankees. From both teams, we’ve learned that the pitching isn’t living up to the hype. Verlander is not being himself, and the Phillies aces in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler getting t’d off themselves. This third game means a lot and will control the direction of the series, in my opinion. If Houston wins, prepare for a closing World Series. If Philadelphia wins, we got a long way to go.

 


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