How will the Houston Astros react after their first loss in the playoffs? Quickly, that’s how. They made three doubles and scored two runs in the first four courts they saw in front of Philadelphia Phillies star Zach Wheeler, as they ambushed a dominant starter to dominate the second World Series game. -2 up the chain at 1-1.
The Astros ended up scoring three goals in the first half lunge, then added two more on Homer Alex Bregman in the fifth. Wheeler, who was stunning in October through Saturday night, weathered the storm to cut five rounds.
But unlike the first game, Phyllis’ return was not imminent. Astros manager Dusty Becker trusted him again in his prime, but this time it paid off. Valdez stopped Velez’s reckless offense, stopping them in one round and delivering it to the playing field.
The closest the Phillies got to threatening the Astros was when Kyle Schwarber hit two different balls within inches of making it a two-round game in the eighth. The volatile rookie man ripped off two deep shots from loyalist Rafael Monteiro – one that initially ruled Homer but called a foul ball after a replay, and the next fell into the gauntlet of right-handed Kyle Tucker a step in front of the wall.
Then a wrong field adventure put the Astros in two men for Bryce Harper, but he got out to the right field to finish the run.
The series will definitely be heading to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Monday night.
Framber Valdez delivers quality, as usual
The left-handed 28-year-old, who earlier this season set a Premier League record for quality straight starts, gave Houston exactly the kind of game they needed. Valdes was completely in control the whole time, he went 6 1/3 innings and only allowed one run. Especially in the early rounds, the Phillies choked. In general, he gave up only four hits, shot nine and kept the ball on the ground. Of the five most damaged balls against him, four were on the ground and two turned into two.
Sometimes overlooked with Verlander coming in front of him in the Astros rotation, Valdes had a great start. A gem in the Astros development system, only 10 eligible starters have had a better Era than him over the past two seasons.
Jose Altove warms up by three strokes
Altuve, the Astros’ meager workhorse, was cold on the board in the playoffs. He entered a 2 4 vs 37 game in postseason. Then, on Saturday night, he delivered three hits and looked like the threat he usually was.
Wheeler’s first-half ambush began with an early Astros barrage.
He added two songs later, which is an encouraging sign as Houston looks forward to the series.
The Astros Mask was using an illegal bat
Don’t panic, but the Astros hitter may have broken the rules. According to a report by Tom Verducci on a Fox broadcast, Astros catcher Martin Maldonado was informed by MLB that the bat he used in Game 1 was illegal. The veteran hunter reportedly used a bat passed by retired legend Albert Pujols, but the Pujols were serious about using bat specs that were no longer allowed.
Maldonado used a different racket in game 2.
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