Verlander again seeks 1st Series win, night after no-hitter

Nov 2, 2022, 9:48 AM | Updated: 10:05 pm
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander smiles before Game 3 of baseball's World Series be...

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander smiles before Game 3 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Justin Verlander has a very tough act to follow.

Not only will he again be seeking his first World Series win Thursday night, he’ll take the mound against Philadelphia after four Houston Astros teammates combined on the Fall Classic’s second no-hitter.

“He’s one of the best,” Phillies slugger Bryce Harper said after Houston’s 5-0 victory Wednesday tied the Series at two games apiece. “Just got to go out there and have the best at-bats we can and do what we can to get some runs up there.”

Verlander failed to hold a five-run lead in the opener, a 6-5, 10-inning loss for the Astros that left him 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA in eight World Series starts. The 39-year-old ace, expected to win his third Cy Young Award in a few weeks, has the highest ERA of any pitcher to throw at least 30 innings in the Fall Classic.

“Second time through the lineup they made some adjustments and did a better job of spoiling some decent pitches,” Verlander said before Game 4. “And then when I did make mistakes, they hit ’em. And then it just kind of compounded a little bit.”

Perfect through three innings, Verlander allowed Nick Castellanos’ RBI single and Alec Bohm’s two-run double in the fourth, then another two-run double to J.T. Realmuto in the fifth.

“I’ve been around long enough, man. I’ve had plenty of games,” Verlander said. “I’ve had everything happen — not everything. You always see something new in this game. That’s the old adage, anyway. But I’m not like dwelling on what went wrong-type thing.”

He will be facing a Phillies team that hasn’t gotten a hit since Castellanos’ leadoff single in the sixth inning of Game 3. Before Cristian Javier and three relievers combined to blank Philadelphia on Wednesday night, the only Series no-hitter was Don Larsen’s perfect game for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.

Verlander insisted he was a couple of fickle bounces in Game 1 from getting that elusive World Series win.

“I’m not going to sit here and dwell too much and be like, `Oh, I just got hit all over the yard,'” he said. “I think you try to keep a positive mindset and say, `Well, had a couple things gone my way, maybe things would have been very different.’ So hopefully things will go my way next time.”

Verlander was 18-4 with a big league-best 1.75 ERA in his return from Tommy John surgery this season. Acquired by the Astros from Detroit in 2017, he’s eligible for free agency and could be making his last start for Houston.

“It’s premature,” he said. “Really and truly it’s been a hell of a ride no matter what happens, whether I stay or don’t. I’ve really enjoyed my time with this group of guys and the city and getting to know the city. And it’s really been a blessing and a wonderful time in my career. … We talked a lot about how this year I’ve just tried to be more in the moment and be present and enjoy the ride.”

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Sam Ryder acknowledges the gallery after finishing his round on the 18th hole of the South Course a...
Associated Press

Ryder extends Farmers lead to 3, Rahm gets hot on windy day

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Sam Ryder extended his lead to three shots in the Farmers Insurance Open with a 4-under 68 in challenging wind in the second round Thursday on Torrey Pines’ South Course while Jon Rahm had an eagle and three straight birdies late in his 5-under 67 on the easier North Course to […]
18 hours ago
Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier compete in the pairs short program at the U.S. figure skating cha...
Associated Press

World champs Knierim, Frazier dazzle in Day 1 at nationals

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — They held their on-ice embrace a little longer this time, kneeling in an end pose moments after a near-flawless short program. Overwhelming favorite and reigning world champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier scored a personal-best 81.96 on Thursday for a commanding lead in the first day of the U.S. Figure […]
18 hours ago
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James smiles during the second half of an NBA basketball game aga...
Associated Press

LeBron, Giannis chosen as captains for NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James is closing in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA career scoring record. And now, he has caught Abdul-Jabbar on another page of the All-Star record book. James was announced Thursday as an NBA All-Star for the 19th time, the Los Angeles Lakers’ star tying Abdul-Jabbar for the most selections in league history. James — the […]
18 hours ago
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy pushes a cameraman away while walking off the field after a...
Associated Press

Quinn returning to lead defense as Cowboys shuffle coaches

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — A shuffling of the coaching staff for the Dallas Cowboys won’t include defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is returning after another year of receiving interest from teams seeking head coaches. Coach Mike McCarthy said the club’s decision not to renew the contracts of six members of his staff, including one with […]
18 hours ago
The Meyer Shank Racing team, from left, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Michael Shank, Colin Bra...
Associated Press

Meyer Shank Racing aims for 2nd consecutive Rolex 24 victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Michael Shank bookended last year’s sports car season by winning the most prestigious endurance race in North America and then the IMSA championship. In between, he expanded his IndyCar program and followed a scrupulous plan to build Meyer Shank Racing into an elite motorsports organization. Now he’s set to lead […]
18 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan speaks at a news conference before an NFL football pra...
Associated Press

Final 4 NFL teams all feature offensive-minded head coaches

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Chris Foerster had spent nearly two decades as an assistant in the NFL when he first crossed paths with Kyle Shanahan long before he became one of the NFL’s most-accomplished play-callers. Shanahan was in his third year as an offensive coordinator in the NFL when Foerster joined head coach Mike […]
2 days ago
Verlander again seeks 1st Series win, night after no-hitter