December 1, 2022
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After 16 seasons and incredible career, Justin Verlander finally has World Series win

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With two outs in the fifth inning on Thursday night, Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander faced what everyone knew would be his final batter — of the game, the 2022 World Series and maybe even his incredible tenure in Houston.

With the tying run at second base, Verlander retired ex-teammate Nick Castellanos after a 10-pitch at-bat to maintain the Astros’ one-run lead and wrap up his fifth inning of work.

Four innings later, when the Astros finished their 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Verlander could claim something that had eluded him for years: A victory in the World Series.

“I can say I got one,” Verlander said after the game.

The Astros now head back to Houston with a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series and can clinch in Game 6 on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

Thursday was Verlander’s ninth start in a World Series game, dating to 2006 with the Detroit Tigers.

Entering the game, he was 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA. For a surefire Hall-of-Famer and one of the game’s most dominant pitchers, it was an incredible line.

Thursday didn’t seem to be going any better. He gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Kyle Schwarber, in the first inning, and he walked four batters overall.

“It just sucks because of the moment and obviously all the questions and weight,” Verlander said. “But you have to rely on the hundreds of starts and the thousands of pitches I’ve thrown before and just kind of say, ‘OK, I’ve given up leadoff home runs before. Let me bear down.’”

He did, showing his best stuff for the fifth inning, and retiring Castellanos on a flyout to short left.

“It’s a game of centimeters,” Castellanos said. “If I’m on top of that ball a little bit more, we’re in a different situation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Castellanos

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos watches during their loss in Game 4 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)AP



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