Phillies on brink of elimination, need to wake up in Houston

J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
J.T. Realmuto #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

The Phillies dropped Game 5 of the World Series to the Astros, 3-2.

The Houston Astros are just one win away from winning their second World Series title, as the Philadelphia Phillies lost Game 5 in crushing fashion.

The Phillies’ pitching was able to hold the potent Astros lineup to just three runs. However, the offense was only able to muster up two runs of their own. Perhaps the most frustrating stat of the night is that they were just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Every player in the Phillies lineup — except Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto — left men on base. Situational hitting was non-existent.

The Phillies’ one-through-three hitters struck out a combined eight times in 14 at-bats. Four of those strikeouts are attributed to Rhys Hoskins and three to Realmuto.

The bottom line is that the Phillies need to do better with men on base. The Astros are a sound team offensively and defensively, and their pitching staff does not have many holes. The Phillies need to take advantage of scoring opportunities when they get the chance. Thursday night was a frustrating loss that can be pinned to the offense’s ineptitude to get runs home.

The pitching staff did their job. Starter Noah Syndergaard gave up two runs in three innings, but settled in after giving up hits to the first two batters he faced. The Phils bullpen was able to mostly neutralize the Astros lineup. The only other run allowed was when Hoskins mishandled a ground ball that he could have threw home and stop a runner from scoring.

If the Phillies are looking for a bright spot from Thursday’s loss, Connor Brogdon is where they would look. Brogdon struggled in the regular season and was looked at mainly as a mop-up-type reliever coming into the postseason. He wound up throwing two scoreless innings and striking out five Astros hitters. The right-hander has a 2.08 ERA in the postseason.

Manager Rob Thomson’s squad will now travel to Houston to try to salvage Games 6 and 7. The 2019 Washington Nationals were able to do just that to win the World Series, so it can be done. The Phils will need to be firing on all cylinders to win their third-ever championship.

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