2022 World Series: Ben Verlander’s takeaways from Astros’ Game 5 win


The Houston Astros held the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 on Thursday in game 5 of the 2022 World Series.

The Astros now hold a 3-2 series lead heading into Saturday’s Game 6 in Houston (8 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App).

Let’s go over some aspects of Houston’s win.

1. Justin Verlanderperformance of

He got his first World Series win in front of his family on the road. After getting punched in the face immediately by Kyle Schwarber, it was pretty impressive that he was able to buckle down and come back from that. I was very impressed with his ability to make adjustments and get out of jams.

Justin Verlander shares a candid moment with his brother

Justin Verlander shares a candid moment with his brother

Astros ace Justin Verlander reflects on his first World Series win and shares a postgame moment with his brother, Ben.

His ability to get outs when Houston needed them most. I can’t speak highly enough of his departure. That bases loaded strikeout Rhys Hoskins — That was incredible. Schwarber stepped up again in a big spot and hit him with a curveball.

Once it was installed, the rest was history. You could see, something changed, and no Phillies got a hit.

2. Dusty Baker’s decision to stick with Verlander

Baker had an amazing night. He kept sitting guys who were warming up in the bullpen to keep Justin in there. Baker trusted him to go out there and to do it in that situation, and I thought it was an incredible decision to leave Justin there.

3. Holding up the Astros bullpen

I can’t speak highly enough of the way Baker used the bullpen throughout the game. As with Justin, Rafael Montero has been a go-to guy for Baker all season. She let him do his thing before heading off Ryan Presslywhich I think was a great call in the eighth inning.

The Astros manager wasn’t afraid to let his shutout go and get five outs. He gave Montero a chance, which didn’t work out with Jean Segura taking that hit, and he pivoted. Baker was masterful and deserves a lot of credit for handling Houston’s bullpen.

4. Jeremy Rockthe composure

He’s a rookie playing in the World Series, and this guy acts like a 10-year veteran. The Astros are a World Series or two away from being considered a dynasty, and Peña felt the heartbeat of the Astros tonight. Peña has yet to meet a moment too big for him this World Series.

He’s the first rookie shortstop to hit a home run in World Series history, but he also played incredible defense. He is a rookie experiencing all of this for the first time, and he is excellent game after game.

World Series: Jeremy Peña’s special night

World Series: Jeremy Peña's special night

Ben Verlander discusses Jeremy Peña’s incredible Game 5 World Series performance.

5. Stretching Noah Syndergaard

Heading into Game 5, Syndergaard hadn’t pitched more than three innings in a month, so I think his usage was fantastic. He really settled in, and there was no need for the Phillies to stretch him.

The Phillies tried to sneak him in because he’s been doing so well, but it obviously didn’t go their way with Peña’s home run. It would have gone to Connor Brogdon in the top of the fourth inning. Syndergaard was brilliant, but I think the Phillies should have cut him earlier.

6. A challenge for Houston fans

Tonight in Philadelphia was so special. There was a time when I stood for four innings in a row and no one sat down. Houston fans need to up their game if they want to compete with Philly fans.

7. Zack Wheeler vs. Framber Valdez in game 6

What a phenomenal rematch we’re having after watching this pairing in Game 2. I think Wheeler’s arm is dragging a little. I’m going to keep an eye on his velocity in Game 6, and I encourage the fans to do so as well.

If Wheeler is himself, we’ll have one of the best pitching matchups of the postseason on Saturday night.


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