Rob Thomson made the right decisions on Friday to come away with a win.
The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Houston Astros on Frida to take Game 1 of the World Series.
Taking the series lead did not come easy. The Phillies found themselves in a 5-0 hole through three innings. Starter Aaron Nola exited after 4 1/3 innings pitched, as he was tagged with all five earned runs. The offense tied the game in the fourth and fifth innings, as they mustered up five runs of their own.
After the top of the fifth, the score was tied and Phillies manager Rob Thomson began to plan his bullpen strategy for the remainder of the game. Once Nola was pulled, dominant left-hander José Alvarado entered and recorded three outs without giving up a hit.
Thomson then went with former starter Zach Eflin — and current starter Ranger Suárez — to record the next six outs. Both came through. Eflin allowed a hit and a walk and Suárez allowed one hit. Both left the game unscathed and did not allow a run to score.
Thomson then called on the bullpen’s most valuable asset — Seranthony Domínguez — to record five outs. The right-hander did just that, as he struck out three Houston batters while allowing just one hit.
The Phillies took the lead in the 10th inning, as J.T. Realmuto hit a solo home run to right field. Thomson used many of his relievers early to preserve the lead, and went to veteran right-hander David Robertson to finish the game. Robertson allowed two baserunners and began to lose control a bit. However, he was able to close out the game.
The Phillies now hold a one-game advantage against the favorite Astros. The bullpen deserves credit for keeping the game tied for over five innings. Thomson also deserves credit for continuing to use the bullpen, set the lineup, and make defensive changes as he sees fit.
Many of Thomson’s decisions have given the Phillies the chance to win. The manager has been one of the main reasons that the team is just three wins away from the franchise’s third-ever championship.