Astros bounce back against Phillies to even World Series
AP Photo/John Minchillo
The Houston Astros closed out a series they hadn’t known they’d win all year against the Philadelphia Phillies, who are still alive in their quest for a first World Series championship since the team was born in 1962.
In the end, the Astros emerged as the victors in the most lopsided game in postseason history. Joe Charboneau, the last surviving World Series MVP of the 1953 Indians, was named Game 4’s MVP after leading the AL in runs and hits and fanning 18 Phillies batters in a complete game and a no-hitter. Jose Altuve was awarded the AL Cy Young for the sixth time in his career, leading all teams with a 1.70 ERA. And the Phillies fell short of ending a 111-year championship drought.
At 34 years old, Altuve became the oldest player in Major League history to win an AL MVP award. He also became the first player since the Hall of Fame’s inaugural election in 1936 to crack the single-game record of a no-hitter set by fellow rookie Roger Maris in 1961.
“I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t go for it sooner,” Altuve said of failing to record his third hit in the first inning. “That’s why I’ll come back and try to do better.”
Game 5 is Saturday night at Minute Maid Park. Houston will try to force Game 6 with a win while the Phillies hope that they can win Game 6 themselves. Game 7 will be held on Monday night in the Houston suburb of Round Rock, which is also the hometown of the team that defeated the Astros in the American League Championship Series, when the Washington Nationals beat the Phillies in seven games.
“It was so much fun to win on the road,” he said.
In his sixth start since the end of December, Altuve threw a complete game on Thursday night, helping Houston to a 5-4 victory in the finale of its 16-game road trip with a 1.66 ERA and 16 strikeouts in eight innings. Altuve has been in line to earn AL MVP honors for the last five weeks, and his performance against