MLB

Saved By The Bullpen And Chas McCormick’s Catch, The Astros Win Game 5 Of The World Series Against The Phillies

Saved By The Bullpen And Chas McCormick’s Catch, The Astros Win Game 5 Of The World Series Against The Phillies

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Put aside your romantic feelings toward their manager, who is 73 years old, and forget about the starting pitchers and offensive studs who have been alternately praised and hated over the past six years.

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As a result of having the best bullpen in postseason history, the Houston Astros are only one victory away from claiming their second World Series title in franchise history. And they didn’t pick a better time to display their mettle than in a tense, gut-wrenching game that could have changed the course of the Series than the one that took place on Thursday night.

The Astros’ bullpen saved the day for their team the night before, as they pitched the final three innings of the first combined no-hitter in World Series history. Then, they faced off against a dangerous lineup from the Philadelphia Phillies and held on until their offense gave them a small cushion.

And while it is possible that Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly may not have their names inscribed on an MVP trophy, the fact remains that both players dominated when it mattered the most as the Astros scraped out a 3-2 victory and took a 3-2 lead in the Series heading back to Houston.

Citizens Bank Park was known for its rowdy atmosphere, but the notoriously loud venue was calm throughout the night. This was accomplished first by Justin Verlander, who won the World Series for the first time in his career in his seventh try, and then by a bullpen quartet that wobbled but never wavered in the face of the shouting pleas of the 45,693 people in attendance.

What could motivate them to begin now?

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After completing the final four innings of the postseason while striking out six batters and allowing only one run, the total figures were as follows: just five earned runs allowed in 51 1/3 innings, 67 strikeouts, and just 21 hits. Their earned run average of 0.88 is the best in the postseason history for any bullpen that has pitched at least 45 innings, surpassing the mark of 1.28 set by the Red Sox in 2013.

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