Here’s what we know for sure: One of those clubs will leave the City of Brotherly Love and return to Houston with a 3-2 lead. Justin Verlander will be an Astros team hoping to shake off his career-long World Series slump and, like American League Cy Young hopes, or a Phillies team in need of a sudden offensive slump after a shocking 0. -For-27 with Cristian Javier and three bullpen arms.
“Early in the year against the Mets in New York, we had no hits. [on April 29]Phillies manager Rob Thompson said. “So these people have short memories.”
For all his Hall of Fame success throughout his career, Verlander has some painful World Series memories. He is 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA in eight starts after blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 1 of this series. That’s the worst ERA of any pitcher with at least 30 innings in the Fall Classic.
“I think a lot of times the execution follows the mechanics,” Verlander said. “So, yeah, I’ve got some mechanical stuff I need to clean up. Since then I have been working very hard. But there’s no way to know how until you get into the game and watch the attackers react.
The Phillies will be up against Noah Syndergaard, but will have their bullpen ready before Friday’s day off.
When is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 5 is scheduled for Thursday on FOX at 8 pm ET/7 CT.
All games are available on MLB.TV in the US (check with pay TV provider required). Live games are also available in select countries outside of the US. Click here for full details.
Who are the initiates?
Astros: Verlander (1-0, 7.20 ERA this postseason) makes his fourth postseason start and second in the World Series. In the Astros’ Game 1 loss to the Phillies in Houston, he allowed five runs on six hits and two walks in five innings to blow a 5-0 lead.
Phyllis: Syndergaard (10-10, 3.94 ERA) is making his fourth appearance of the postseason, but his second start. Syndergaard, who was originally scheduled to hit Game 3, hit Game 5 after Monday’s extension. One of the benefits of that move is that Friday is an off day after Game 5. That should help the Phillies lean on the bullpen behind Syndergaard, who is expected to last only three to four innings.
What are the origins?
Astros: With Verlander at home, Martin Maldonado will start behind the plate in Game 5. As seen in the game, the only question beyond that was who would start at designated hitter, which was a black hole for the Astros. Postseason (5-for-42). Aledmys Díaz is 1-for-22 in the game, so David Henley gets his second World Series start.
Phyllis: Not one to panic, Thompson went with this lineup, which he used against right-handed starters this postseason.
How do the bulls line up after the starter?
Astros: Despite using three of the four major postseason starters — Brian Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Press — in Game 4, manager Dusty Baker will have to bring all three to the table for Game 5, especially with Friday’s off day. Abrey threw 15 pitches, Montero threw 10 and Pressley threw 19 on Wednesday. Neither Hector Neris nor Rine Stanek appeared in Game 4, so they will be available after several days off.
Phyllis: Everyone should be available in Game 5, though Thompson will use some high-potential relievers in Game 4. That group includes left-handers Jose Alvarado and Brad Hand, and right-handers Andrew Belati, David Robertson and Zach Eflin. Bellatti pitched back-to-back days despite throwing just nine pitches on Wednesday.
“Everybody’s available,” Thomson said after Game 4. “Belatti’s going to be three in a row, but it’s not.” [throw] So many steps tonight. So I think everyone will be fine. “
Phyllis: Although Game 6 starter Zach Wheeler is dealing with arm fatigue, Philadelphia is healthy going into Game 5.
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not?
Astros: McCormick is 4-for-12 with three walks in the World Series, leading the way for the Astros in the Fall Classic. … Gurriel is 5-for-16 and Pena is 5-for-17 with two doubles. …On the flip side, Bregman is 3-for-16 in the World Series, but had a two-run double in Game 4, and Alvarez is 2-for-15 with two RBIs. Diaz (0-for-8) and Trey Mancini (0-for-5) have been uncomfortable in the Fall Classic.
Phyllis: Philadelphia has been hitless since the sixth inning in Game 3.
Anything else fans want to know?
• The Astros are 3-0 in Game 5 of the World Series.
• Altuve’s single in Game 4 of the World Series gave him 100 career hits, sixth in major league history behind Yadier Molina (102), Jorge Posada (103), Manny Ramirez (117), Bernie Williams (128). and Derek Jeter (200).
• In Game 5 of the 2-3-2 format adopted after four games in the postseason, the road team has taken the series 32 of 57 times (56 percent). With the best-of-seven series tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has won the series 45 of 64 times (70 percent).