Heroes and Goats is all Astros in One Column, Phillies in the Other After Game 2 of the World Series
Game 2 certainly didn’t go the way the Phillies wanted, but it certainly wasn’t a disaster. They’ve lost Game 2 after winning Game 1 in each of the NLDS and the NLCS, so this is familiar territory.
The only difference is the Phillies felt like they gave away the previous Game 2s that they lost. They didn’t give this one away, Houston was just better. The
Astros Asterisks are simply a better team than either the Braves or Padres.
And they will likely be favored again in Game 3 when Lance McCullers faces off against Noah Syndergaard.
Before we get to Game 3 on Monday, which will be in an environment that is “off the chain” as Nick Castellanos described it, we need to recognize the five heroes and goats from Game 2. We’ll try to make this one quick, since this is probably the most one-sided loss of the the three the Phillies suffered in the postseason thus far, which is impressive since they missed out on chances to get back into the game in five straight innings.
1. FRAMBER VALDEZ
Of the top four starting pitchers between the World Series combatants, Valdez is the only one who pitched well. Some will argue that he was aided by a substance of some kind, but as I pointed out in an earlier post, that was likely a narrative created by social media sleuths.
Valdez was on his game and kept the Phillies off balance, especially in the first four innings. He had nine strikeouts and allowed just one earned run. While his team was beating up on Zack Wheeler, it was enough to have Houston even the series.
2. ALEX BREGMAN
After the first inning, Wheeler settled down a little until Bregman got him in the fifth inning with a home run that all but determined the outcome of the game:
The #WorldSeries heads to Philly tied 1-1.
— For Future Considerations (@PodcastFFC) October 30, 2022
If Wheeler gets through that inning clean, there’s a chance for yet another Phillies comeback. Bregman would have none of it.
3. JOSE ALTUVE
It’s been a brutal postseason for Altuve so far. But he got three hits in Game 2, looking much more like himself. That’s not good news for the Phillies if he’s figured it out.
He started the hit parade against Wheeler in the first inning ripping a double down the line on the game’s first pitch:
Just like that, lead off double for Altuve!
📺: FOX and the FOX Sports App pic.twitter.com/lhxgfbh7Nq
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 30, 2022
4. JEREMY PENA
Quite simply, he copied Altuve on the very next pitch by Wheeler to give Houston a very early lead:
ASTROS COME OUT FIRING! 🔥
Peña and Altuve both double off the opening two pitches from Wheeler and it’s an early lead!
Jose Altuve o0.5 TB -203 ✅💰
— Coolbet Canada 🇨🇦 (@CoolbetCanada) October 30, 2022
5. YORDAN ALVAREZ
Two pitches later, Alvarez took advantage of Wheeler as well, and the top three hitters of the Astros set the tone for what would be a Game 2 victory:
💥 DOUBLE III
El cubano Yordan Álvarez se lo piensa un poco más…
Deja pasar el primer lanzamiento y le da al segundo -un slider-.
Tercer doble (‼️).
La pelota choca con el muro e impulsa la carrera de Peña. pic.twitter.com/KTvdAZHTx6
— Victor Hasbani (@VictorHasbani84) October 30, 2022
It was a punch in the mouth neither Wheeler nor the Phillies expected.
1. ZACK WHEELER
His velocity was down. His location was off. He didn’t miss many bats. He’s been dealing with some nagging injuries – his elbow may be flaming up again and his knee is still sore after being hit by a line drive in the NLCS. But he was ambushed by Houston. They had three doubles and two runs after four pitches. The three straight extra base hits to start a game was the first time that has happened in the first inning of a World Series game. Wheeler tried to adjust, but never got to where he wanted to go, and once Bregman took him deep, he was done.
2. EDMUNDO SOSA
Sosa has been a defensive stalwart since arriving in a pre-trade deadline deal from St. Louis. He provided some good offense as well. But two subpar defensive plays in the World Series as well as an 0-fer at the plate is not acceptable.
3. RHYS HOSKINS
Look, the guy had a solid game offensively, and he didn’t make an error, but if he scoops Sosa’s throw in the first inning, Houston only gets two runs, not three. It could have been a difference-maker.
4. BRYCE HARPER
He’s done so much for the Phillies to this point, but his 11-game hitting streak came to an end with a loud thump. He hit into a double play to kill one potential rally, and popped out to kill another. Two big at bats where he didn’t get the job done.
5. MATT VIERLING
His double play killed a possible rally too, and was the worst at bat of any by the Phillies bottom third of the order, which was 1-for-10 with a sacrifice fly.
PAST GAMES HEROES AND GOATS
Not much more than a simple list. I promise.
WILD CARD ROUND
- Zack Wheeler – 6 1/3 shutout innings in his first postseason start.
- Jean Segura – Game-winning hit in wild ninth inning comeback.
- Juan Yepez – Pinch hit homer that should have won the game for the Cardinals.
- Jose Quintana – 5 1/3 shutout innings and should have had more were it not for poor management.
- Alec Bohm – Took a fastball to the shoulder in the ninth, stood right up and fired up the bench, keeping momentum going.
- Oliver Marmol – You can’t fuck up managing your pitching and bullpen more than the youngest manager in baseball did here.
- Andre Pallante – Shriveled under the pressure of pitching in high leverage situation in the playoffs.
- Jose Alvarado – As good as he’s been, gave up Yepez’s homer and nearly cost the Phillies the game.
- Ryan Helsley – Going more than one inning in the playoffs is a whole different animal, even if you can throw 105 MPH gas.
- St. Louis Fans – “Supposedly” the best in the sport, Baseball Heaven took the express cloud out of Busch before the game was over.
- Aaron Nola – 6 2/3 innings of beautifully pitched baseball, continuing to bury the naysayers.
- Seranthony Dominguez – Two huge strikeouts (Goldschmidt, Arenado) with two men on in the bottom of the eighth.
- Bryce Harper – The home run that set the table early was all Nola and his bullpen friends needed.
- Zach Eflin – Earning just his second career save (first in the playoffs) to send the Phillies to the NLDS.
- Albert Pujols – Two hits, including his last at bat, in the final game of a Hall of Fame career.
- Paul Goldschmidt – The probable NL MVP did nothing in these two games and came up small in a big spot in the eighth.
- Nolan Arenado – The probable runner-up to NL MVP and the rest of the note is the same as Goldschmidt.
- Tommy Edman – Had a chance to keep a ninth inning rally going, instead sent his team home for the winter with a lame popup.
- Brendan Donovan – 0-for-4 and 0-for-the series for the next guy the Cardinals were counting on after their two studs.
- Nick Castellanos – 0-for-4 and really looked lost at the plate again for the Phillies.
- Nick Castellanos – Atoned for his last game with three hits, three RBI and a potential game-saving diving catch in the ninth inning.
- Matt Olson – Got the Braves back into the game with the big homer in the ninth.
- Ronald Acuna Jr. – Three hits and wreaked havoc on base for Phillies pitchers the whole game.
- Alec Bohm – An RBI hit and a sac fly – and the Phillies needed both of them to win.
- Bryce Harper – Ho hum, just a three-hit game.
- Max Fried – Supposed to be the ace for the Braves, got shelled.
- William Contreras – Double play with the bases load in the bottom of the first left his team with a zero on the scoreboard.
- Connor Brogdon – lacked confidence and nearly cost the Phillies, giving up a pair of runs in the fifth.
- Austin Riley – Struck out three times and popped out – you expect more from the No. 3 hitter.
- Michael Harris – Probable NL Rookie of the Year – also took the collar.
- Kyle Wright – Pitched a masterful game for Atlanta. The best by any starter in the playoffs against the Phillies thus far.
- Matt Olson
- Austin Riley
- Travis d’Arnaud – These three guys all got hits off of Wheeler in a row to score the three runs for the Braves. Key hits all.
- A.J. Minter – Had the shutdown inning the Braves needed after they scored the three runs.
- Kyle Schwarber – Struck out three times and wasn’t heard from the entire game.
- Rhys Hoskins – Also 0-for-4. At least he didn’t strike out.
- Zack Wheeler – Was pitching brilliantly until two out in the sixth. He hit Acuna and walked Swanson then gave up those three hits.
- Alec Bohm – Empty day at the plate for him too.
- Bryson Stott – Has been so clutch for the Phillies – just not this game.
- Rhys Hoskins – The bat slam alone makes him No. 1.
- Aaron Nola – Another big game gem.
- Bryson Stott – Without his nine-pitch at bat and eventual RBI double to score the first run, Hoskins’ homer never happens.
- Phillies Fans – Could seriously be listed for every home game, but they got to Spencer Strider, and Marcel Ozuna, and Acuna…
- Rob Thomson – Despite questions about juggling his lineup, Philly Rob stuck to his guns, and his offense delivered.
- Brian Snitker – Did you really think that saying Philly was “not too hostile” an environment was smart?
- Spencer Strider – Crumbled under the pressure of Philly’s hostility.
- Marcel Ozuna – The “DUI” chants resulted in three strikeouts.
- Austin Riley – From MVP contender to almost invisible in the playoffs.
- Braves Bullpen – Couldn’t keep the score in the respectable range.
- Zack Wheeler – allowed just one hit and one walk over seven scoreless innings, striking out eight.
- Kyle Schwarber – with the longest home run ever hit in PETCO PARK (488 feet).
- Bryce Harper – a solo homer early to give the Phillies a lead they would never relinquish.
- Seranthony Dominguez
- Jose Alvarado – The two back end of the bullpen guys had two hitless innings to close out the game, with three Ks.
- Padres offense – One hit. One measly hit.
- Yu Darvish – Honestly he pitched well, but if you are going to win a showdown with Wheeler, you can’t make mistakes. Darvish made two, and that’s two too many.
- Manny Machado – O-fer. Sittin’ on that hefty salary, eh?
- Juan Soto – Wasn’t he supposed to be the kind of generational talent to make a difference in close games? 0-for-3 with 2 Ks.
- Josh Bell – Guy used to be a Phillie-killer. No more. 0-for-4 with 2 Ks.
- Brandon Drury – Dude just gives off Cody Ross vibes. And when he hits a big homer like this, it’s even worse.
- Juan Soto – That double was pure talent. It was a good pitch by Nola. To recognize it and get your hands through in time is special.
- Josh Bell – OK, maybe he still is a Phillie-killer.
- Austin Nola – Got the hit to knock his brother completely off his game.
- Rhys Hoskins – Hitting the homer late was window dressing, but proved that Suarez was susceptible to big hits. Hmmm.
- Brad Hand – He could have kept the score tied with any efficiency. He had none, and the lead got too far away from the Phillies for a comeback.
- Aaron Nola – The pitching line looks worse than the actual performance was, but you can’t blow a 4-0 lead in the playoffs. Just can’t.
- David Robertson – Giving up another run late really didn’t help.
- Bryce Harper – Hoskins homers to cut it to three then Realmuto singles. With no outs, you ground into a double play. Needed that rally.
- Blake Snell – Lucky your team came back to win, because getting behind 4-0 in the first inning isn’t the way to start a must-win playoff game.
- Jean Segura – Such a roller coaster game for the Phils’ 2B, but he came through both offensively and defensively when it mattered most. Definitely the player of the game.
- Alec Bohm – His double in the bottom of the sixth to give the Phillies an insurance run was huge.
- Kyle Schwarber – Leading off the game with a homer set the temp for what the next three games in Philly would be like.
- Seranthony Dominguez – The first six-out save by a Phillies reliever in a playoff game in 42 years (to the day). Stellar performance.
- Ranger Suarez – Under the radar performance. He allowed just two infield singles (one trickled onto the outfield grass), in five innings of work.
- Joe Musgrove – He pitched a one-hitter in an elimination game in New York. But this isn’t Citi Field, friend/
- Manny Machado – Was invisible again, and was hearing it from the fans after choosing San Diego over Philly in 2019
- Austin Nola – Was the tying run at the plate in the ninth, and whiffed. This was just a precursor, though.
- Josh Bell – Runners on first and second with one out. Bell called on to pinch hit against a pitcher he’s had great success against, and grounded into a double play.
- Juan Soto – Somehow he’s a gold glove finalist in RF. Must have left the gold one on the plane and replaced it with his cement one.
You can read heroes and goats from this game in more detail here.
You can read heroes and goats from this game in more detail here.
Heroes and Goats from Game 1 are here.