Following a loss in Game Four of the World Series, the pressure is on the Philadelphia Phillies to swing the momentum in their favor. With Game Five on Thursday in Philadelphia, the Phillies are looking for the 3–2 series lead heading back to Houston. Although this team has been known for comebacks this postseason, a Game Five win will be their best comeback. Here are some ways the Phillies can bounce back against the Houston Astros.
Get to Verlander Early
Justin Verlander has not been successful in the World Series. Despite appearing in the fall classic for the fifth time, his record has been underwhelming. In eight World Series games, Verlander has a record of 0–6 with a 6.07 ERA through 43 innings pitched. He has allowed 29 earned runs, five of which came from the Phillies in Game One. Although Verlander had a strong start in Game One, the Phillies were able to find a way to produce hits and end his night early. Heading into Game Five, the Phillies are looking to replicate their offense and get to Verlander early.
Rely on the Long Ball
The biggest factor in the Phillies’ improbable run has been their ability to hit home runs. In games where the Phillies have hit at least one home run, they are 9–1. However, in games where the Phillies don’t hit a home run, they are 2–2. With a lineup of great hitters like J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, and Bryce Harper, they can go yard, which has made a difference. So far this postseason, the team that has hit more home runs has a record of 22–5. If this team is going to bounce back, it will be with a home run. Maybe the ballpark will erupt again like Game Three during Bryce Harper’s home run.
Home Field Advantage
It may be a shock to some, but Game Four was the first loss by the Philadelphia Phillies at home since September 25. Since then, they have won six of their last seven, including two series-clinching games in the NLDS and NLCS. Citizens Bank Park fans have given the team a home-field advantage. Every night the crowd of 46 000 is loud, and on their feet for most of the game. With Game Five being the final time in Philadelphia this season, the Phillies need to take advantage of the hometown crowd. Although they can not clinch the title in Philadelphia, a win in Game Five can go a long way in winning it all.
Trust the Process
This phrase is a familiar one among Philadelphia sports fans. This has been the mantra of the Philadelphia 76ers during an era in which the team rebuilt into a contender. Although they have yet to win a championship, the team had patience and believed in the process. Ultimately, this team has overcome adversity on numerous occasions this season. Despite being under .500 in June, this team did not give up and rallied to become National League Champions. With two World Series wins away from another title, fans need to be patient and have faith in their team.
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Justin Verlander, J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper
Justin grew up a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays. He's begun writing to express his opinions and engage with his fellow readers. Follow Justin on Twitter @J_Merrlles