Good morning, baseball fans!
I have returned from my travels just in time to enjoy the World Series, which starts tonight and features the visiting Philadelphia Phillies taking on the seemingly unstoppable Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Texas.
Taking the mound for the Phillies will be right-hander Aaron Nola, who ended the season with a 3.25 ERA, 2.58 FIP, with 235 strikeouts to 29 walks in 205 innings pitched. So far he is 2-1 this post-season, with his last start against the San Diego Padres in the NLCS being a bit of a disaster, having allowed six runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in four and two thirds innings.
It’s somewhat fitting, then, that he be facing off against Astros right-hander Justin Verlander. Verlander ended the season with a 1.75 ERA, 2.49 FIP, with 185 strikeouts to 29 walks in 175 innings pitched. These are not numbers to sneeze at, Verlander has historically been a strong pitcher, a Cy Young Award winner and regularly in the running. However, he also has a bit of a reputation of having postseason implosion games.
This is a bit unfair and biased on my part, but his first postseason start of 2022 in the ALDS did involve six runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and a walk in four innings. It just so happened the Astros were able to out-hit the Seattle Mariners in that one to come back and win 8-7 in the bottom of the ninth. Always helpful, that.
Tonight’s game will be on Fox at 5:03 p.m. PT.
In the meantime, have you ever thought Brandon Belt should call his own balls and strikes? Have you ever thought you could call your own balls and strikes? Well, The New York Times has got just the game for you. You can make the call on seven missed calls from the 2022 season. I got six out of seven correct, before overthinking the last one. Let us know how you did in the comments below!