After losing Game 3 of the World Series in spectacular fashion, the Houston Astros have set their rotation for Games 4 and 5 in Philadelphia.
Tonight’s game will be absolutely crucial for the Astros, as it will be difference from going into Game 5 tied at two wins per team or down 3-1.
Whatever the fate of Game 4 is tonight, Astros manager Dusty Baker has already announced his Game 5 starter.
To the surprise of no one, it’s Justin Verlander.
Justin Verlander is officially starting Game 5 for the Astros.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) November 2, 2022
The right-hander was utterly dominant in the regular season, with a 1.75 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in 175 frames.
He also won 18 games and is the American League’s prime Cy Young candidate.
However, he has been battered in two out of three postseason starts this year.
The Seattle Mariners scored six runs off him in the Division Series, and the Phillies put five on the board in Game 1 of the World Series.
In the middle, he dominated the New York Yankees in the Championship Series.
For all his success in the regular season, Verlander has the worst ERA in the history of the Fall Classic among pitchers with at least 25 innings, at 6.07.
He also has a 0-6 World Series record, and that’s why Astros fans are so nervous about him starting on Thursday.
He could be doing it with Houston’s season on the line.
It’s a matter of command: if he can hit his spots, Verlander will be very hard to beat.
However, he has shown in eight World Series starts over the course of his career that he can’t always do that.
Will the Astros’ season end with Verlander on the mound?
Or will he send it back to Houston safely?