It might not be the greatest comeback in post-season history, but the Phillies' win over the Astros yesterday sure was impressive all the same. After Kyle Tucker’s second home run, the Astros had a better than 90% chance to win. That lasted all the way until the top of the fifth when J.T. Realmuto smacked a two-run double to tie the game. Realmuto was definitely yesterday’s hero, as he was the one who hit the go-ahead home run in the tenth inning that ultimately carried the Phillies to victory.
In case you wanted to see Realmuto’s heroism quantified, he was responsible for 57% WPA for his team yesterday. The old saying goes that one man can’t win a baseball game by himself, but Realmuto sure gave it the old college try all the same.
Many people were predicting the Astros would sweep this World Series and become the first team ever to achieve a flawless post-season. Those dreams are out the window now. Will the Phillies have anything left in the tank tonight after yesterday’s come-from-behind victory?
Tonight’s pitching matchup will be a battle of two guys who could be aces on a lot of other teams but play second fiddle on their own. Zack Wheeler will take the mound for Philly; he had a 2.82 ERA during the regular season and has only gotten better as the weather has gotten colder. In four starts this postseason, he has a 1.78 ERA and has struck out nearly a batter per inning.
The Astros will counter with left-hander Framber Valdez. Like Wheeler, Valdez had a 2.82 ERA during the regular season. Also like Wheel, Valdez has turned it up in October. He’s only made two starts but has a sparkling 1.42 ERA and has even managed to strike out more than ten batters per nine. It’s anyone’s guess how this game will end up, but it seems safe to suggest that it won’t be a comfortable night for the batsmen on either side.