While the headline “Justin Verlander needs a win” is quite obvious, based on the importance of Game 5 for the Houston Astros, there is more to it.
For one, Verlander has to follow up the second no-hitter in World Series history. Now, whether you want to debate if it’s an actual no-hitter because four pitchers did it, that’s fine. But, the box score says no runs, no hits and for a game that is engulfed in stats, it is a no-hitter. But I digress.
In Game 1, Verlander could not stop the Phillies from coming back from a 5-0 deficit. He is now 0-6 with an ERA of 6.07 in eight starts in the Fall Classic. But credit to Justin Verlander, who took to Phillies fans after they were flipping him the bird. The whole interaction, as he explains below, was all in good fun. However, this series has been filled with nothing but both fans trying to top each other.
Imagine seeing this at the old Tiger Stadium troughs that were in the men’s bathroom.
Even the reporter from Philadelphia chimed in during Game 2 about the “no vibe” or how they did not play a factor in the game.
Well, one super Houston Astros fan who goes by “Mattress Mack” wasn’t going to allow Philly fans run rough shot all over the place.
Must win Justin Verlander
This series has an entertaining one. We have witnessed an extra innings game, five home runs in one game and now back to back shutouts. Since former Tigers outfielder Nick Castellanos’s single in the sixth, the Phillies offense has gone silent. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Astros have thrown 11 consecutive no-hit innings. That ties the 1939 Yankees for the longest streak in the World Series. Verlander does not have to make history, he simply has to win. It favors Houston if he does. Per Will Leitch of MLB.com, teams with a 3-2 lead heading back home for two under the current 2-3-2 format, have won the series at a 76% clip.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)