Phils go quietly in Series finale as bopper becomes bunter

Nov 5, 2022, 8:51 AM | Updated: 10:38 pm
The Philadelphia Phillies watch the Houston Astros celebrate their 4-1 World Series win against the...

The Philadelphia Phillies watch the Houston Astros celebrate their 4-1 World Series win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

              Houston Astros' Christian Vazquez hits an RBI single during the sixth inning in Game 6 of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
            
              The Philadelphia Phillies watch the Houston Astros celebrate their 4-1 World Series win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
            
              The Philadelphia Phillies watch the Houston Astros celebrate their 4-1 World Series win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
            
              The Philadelphia Phillies watch the Houston Astros celebrate their 4-1 World Series win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
            
              The Philadelphia Phillies watch the Houston Astros celebrate their 4-1 World Series win against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
            
              Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jose Alvarado Houston reacts after Astros' Yordan Alvarez's three-run home run during the sixth inning in Game sixth of baseball's World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

HOUSTON (AP) — Kyle Schwarber went from big bopper to bad bunter.

One of the Philadelphia Phillies’ most fearsome sluggers popped up foul on a two-strike bunt attempt with his team one inning from World Series elimination. That bizarre strikeout spoke more loudly than Schwarber’s third Series homer, which briefly put Philadelphia ahead.

After taking a 2-1 lead in the Fall Classic, the Phillies fizzled at the plate and lost three in a row — the last a 4-1 defeat Saturday night that gave the Houston Astros the World Series title in six games.

“They have good pitching,” Schwarber said. “Their pitching has been pretty spot on.”

After ending an 11-year playoff drought and becoming the first third-place team in baseball history to reach the Series, the Phillies fell short of winning their first crown since 2008.

“We went through a dry spell at the wrong time,” said Rob Thomson, unable to join Bob Lemon and Jack McKeon as the only managers to take over midseason and lead a team to the title. “You’ve got to give credit to their pitching.”

Philadelphia batted .101 (9 for 89) with 38 strikeouts, three runs and three extra-base hits in the three straight losses, which included a combined no-hitter by the Astros in Game 4 and a three-hitter in Game 6. Philadelphia batted .163 in the Series overall — the lowest for any team since Detroit was held to .159 while getting swept by San Francisco in 2012.

Rhys Hoskins hit .120 (3 for 25) with one RBI, J.T. Realmuto .167 (4 for 24) with three RBIs and Bryce Harper batted .200 (4 for 20) with two RBIs.

Nick Castellanos fell to .125 (3 for 24) with one RBI when he fouled out to end it. Schwarber was the best of the bunch at .250 (5 for 20) with four RBIs.

“We expect to be here next year and the year after,” Hoskins said. “When you can keep a group together, that’s when I think you can see a good team go on a multiple-year run of having a chance to win a championship.”

Philadelphia’s 71 strikeouts over the six games were a Series record, breaking the mark set by Arizona in a seven-game Series win against the New York Yankees in 2001 and matched by Tampa Bay in a six-game loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers two years ago.

Reaching the World Series was a surprise for the Phillies, who were 22-29 when Thomson replaced fired manager Joe Girardi on June 3. They were the 12th and final team to clinch a berth in the expanded playoffs, an October afterthought that would have been watching at home under the previous postseason format.

“If in the beginning of the year, if you asked a bunch of people or baseball specialists if we were going to be in the World Series, they would have probably said no,” Castellanos said. “We were two wins away from being the best team in North America. So, it’s just a building block.”

After finishing 87-75 during the regular season, Philadelphia swept two games from NL Central champion St. Louis in the new wild-card series and upended NL East champ Atlanta, a 101-game winner, over four games in the Division Series. Then the Phillies beat San Diego in five games in an all-wild card NLCS.

“This is sustainable, this type of winning atmosphere and winning team,” Thomson said. “They have accomplished a lot. It’s still disappointing, though. And I told them after the game, I said, `You guys have nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t need to hang your head for anybody.'”

Harper looked ahead to 2023.

“I’d imagine that we’re going to be the same team but with some more pieces to make us that much better,” he said.

Schwarber thought about the Astros’ celebrating in the other clubhouse.

“That taste is there now and it is an addicting feeling,” Schwarber said. “We know what it takes now in our minds.”

___

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

United States' Mikaela Shiffrin speeds down the course during an alpine ski, women's World Cup slal...
Associated Press

US skier Shiffrin leads slalom in pursuit of record 86th win

SPINDLERUV MLYN, Czech Republic (AP) — American skier Mikaela Shiffrin had what she called a “perfect run” to lead a women’s World Cup slalom after the opening leg Sunday as she approached the all-time record for the most career wins with 86. If Shiffrin wins the race, she matches Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark’s best mark […]
1 day ago
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece plays a backhand return to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's s...
Associated Press

Djokovic wins 1st set of Australian Open final vs Tsitsipas

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic has won the opening set 6-3 against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open men’s singles final on Sunday. Djokovic broke Tsitsipas’ serve in the fourth game of the opening set to take a 3-1 lead and maintained the advantage. In addition to the championship, the winner will claim the […]
1 day ago
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher, left, taunts Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras after Zebr...
Associated Press

Zegras scores in OT, Ducks beat Coyotes for 3rd win a row

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Zegras scored at 3:34 of overtime and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Saturday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season. John Klingberg stole the puck from Matias Maccelli in the offensive zone and found Zegras in the slot for a wrist shot for […]
1 day ago
Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) and Cody Ceci (5) celebrate a goal against the Chicago Blackha...
Associated Press

Oilers head into All-Star break with win over Blackhawks

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Tyson Barrie scored twice, Connor McDavid had his NHL-best 41st goal and the Edmonton Oilers headed into their All-Star break with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had a goal and two assists, and Evander Kane and Ryan McLeod also […]
1 day ago
Seattle Kraken center Ryan Donato, rear, watches as the puck rests behind Columbus Blue Jackets goa...
Associated Press

Wennberg scores against former team, Kraken top Blue Jackets

SEATTLE (AP) — Alex Wennberg scored midway through the second period against his former team to help the Seattle Kraken beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday night. Wennberg, who was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the first round in 2013, had his 10th goal of the season in his 600th career game. […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers forward Jera...
Associated Press

Achiuwa leads Raptors to 123-105 win over Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Precious Achiuwa scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in place of the injured OG Anunoby to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 123-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 19 against his former team for the Raptors, […]
1 day ago
Phils go quietly in Series finale as bopper becomes bunter