World Series Game 4 live: Astros blast open pitchers’ duel with five-run fifth against Phillies

Key events

Astros 5-0 Phillies, middle of sixth inning

Andrew Bellatti, who closed out last night’s Game 3 with a scoreless inning, is into the game for the Phillies.

McCormick strikes out swinging on a nasty slider.

Altuve swings at the first pitch and flies out to left field.

Pena swings at a 1-1 pitch and flies out of left field.

A much-needed 1-2-3 for the Phillies after their fifth-inning disaster. Now can they manage a base hit? Or even put a ball in play?

Astros 5-0 Phillies, end of fifth inning

Bohm strikes out looking.

Stott strikes out looking. Javier has struck out six of the last seven batters, including five in a row.

Segura pops out into foul territory near first base.

The Phillies are still looking for their first hit and the crowd has been taken out of the game.

Astros strike first with five-run fifth, lead 5-0!

Astros 5-0 Phillies, middle of fifth inning

Alvarez is at the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out … and Alvarez hits him Alvarez is at the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out … and Alvarez hits him with a 99mph fastball on his first offering of the night. That’s going to score a run and the Astros are on the board.

Bregman steps to the plate, bases loaded and nobody out, and falls behind 0-2. But he then rips a 101mph sinker down the right-field line and off the wall for a two-run double. That Astros lead 3-0.

Tucker drives in another run on a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 4-0. That’s only the first out of the inning.

Gurriel sends a single past the diving Bohm into left field. Bregman will score and the Astros take a 5-0 lead.

Diaz strikes out swinging for the second out.

And at long last, Diaz, the ninth Houston batter of the inning, strikes out looking on a sinker at the knees.

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, left, is congratulated by catcher Christian Vazquez after scoring against the Phillies on a one-run single in the fifth inning on Wednesday night. Photograph: Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

Astros 0-0 Phillies, top of fifth inning

The home-plate umpire breaks up the mound conference. Nola will pitch to Pena with runners on first and second with nobody out.

The Phillies have their corners in, anticipating a Pena bunt to move the runners over. But the 25-year-old rookie falls behind 0-2, ruling that out. Pena then works the count to 2-2 before slotting a base hit to short left field.

And here comes Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson, who’s managed aggressively all postseason and isn’t messing around here. He’s bringing in Jose Alvarado, one of the Phillies’ high-leverage relievers who is coming in fully rested thanks to Sunday’s travel day, Monday’s postponement and yesterday’s straightforward affair that didn’t require his services.

Astros 0-0 Phillies, top of fifth inning

McCormick singles on a 1-1 knuckle curve and the Astros are in business with their leadoff hitter coming to the plate, a runner on first and nobody out. It looks like Jose Alvarado is up in the Phillies’ bullpen.

Altuve singles to left field and the Astros have runners on first and second with nobody out. A conference on the mound ensues. A huge opportunity for the Astros to get on the board with their 2-3-4 hitters due up …

Astros 0-0 Phillies, end of fourth inning

Realmuto strikes out swinging on a fastball at the top of the zone, Javier’s fifth of the night.

Harper goes down quietly, striking out on three straight fastballs. Six strikeouts for Javier.

Castellanos works the count to 2-2, but swings and misses on 94mph fastball. Make it seven Ks for the Houston righty.

The dialed-in Javier strikes out the side and the Phillies are still looking for their first hit of the night.

Astros 0-0 Phillies, middle of fourth inning

The Astros’ Bregman jumps on the first pitch, a 92mph sinker, and lines out to center field.

Now it’s Tucker, who doubled in his first at-bat tonight (and homered twice off Nola in Game 1). He works a full count before slapping a fly ball into right field, where Castellanos makes the easy catch. Nola has retired seven in a row.

Gurriel jumps on the first pitch and lines a single into left-center field. He takes a wide turn but doesn’t go for second. That’s his 25th career hit in the World Series, the most ever by a Cuban-born player.

Vazquez, the Astros’ No 7 hitter, slaps a single to right field off the first pitch and the Astros have runners on first and second with two down.

A golden chance for the Astros to end their scoreless inning streak is afoot … but just like that, it’s over. Diaz jumps on the first pitch but chops it weakly toward short, where Stott calmly makes the throw to first in time for the third out.

Astros 0-0 Phillies, end of third inning

Segura works a 2-2 count before flying out harmlessly to center field.

Marsh, who last night became the youngest Phillies player ever to homer in a World Series, walks on four pitches. A buzz comes over the crowd with the lineup turned over and leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber moseying to the plate.

Schwarber falls behind 0-2. He then rips a laser down the right-field line, but it’s foul by inches. Marsh likely would have scored with the jump he got on that one. Schwarber goes on to be called out on strikes, but Marsh steals second on the delivery.

That leaves it to Rhys Hoskins with two outs and Marsh in scoring position. He works the count to 2-0, but then pops out to the first baseman in foul territory

Astros 0-0 Phillies, middle of third inning

The Astros’ struggling Altuve grounds out to third on the first pitch.

Pena works a full count from 1-2 down before swinging and missing on an 81mph knuckle curve.

Alvarez lines out to left on a 1-1 fastball.

Nola breezes through the top of the Houston lineup for his first 1-2-3 inning of the night and the Astros’ scoreless streak in this World Series extends to 15 innings. What’s more, that’s 24 straight innings without a run by Houston at Citizens Bank Park, a hoodoo that extends back to 2017.

Aaron Nola entered the 2022 postseason having thrown 16 pitches all season at 95.0+ mph

he’d thrown 35 such pitches this postseason entering tonight, and has another 6 tonight thru 3 IP (but none in the 3rd)

— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) November 3, 2022

Astros 0-0 Phillies, end of second inning

Phillies talisman Bryce Harper, who is slashing an outrageous .382/.414/.818 in 59 plate appearances this postseason, works a full count before walking on a fastball out of the zone. Not sure why the Astros have been pitching to him at all …

… especially when Castellanos, who goes down swinging on three straight pitches, hasn’t done a whole lot to protect him. One down.

Now it’s Bohm’s turn with Harper on first and one out. He falls behind 0-2, fights back to 2-2 before a swinging strikeout on a fastball … but Harper steals second base. That gives Bryson Stott a runner in scoring position.

And Stott pops out to the shortstop, quickly ending the Phillies’ threat.

Astros 0-0 Phillies, middle of second inning

The Astros’ Kyle Tucker, who homered in his first two at-bats of this World Series back in Game 1, falls behind 0-2 before ripping a curveball into the right-field alley for a double.

Gurriel jumps on the first pitch, grounding to third base. Bohm makes the play but Tucker reaches third. The lone significant pocket of Houston fans, mostly concentrated in second deck of the left-field stands, come alive with cheers of “Let’s go Ast-ros!” … prompting lusty boos from the Phillies fans surrounding them.

Vazquez is hit by a pitch, giving the Astros runners on first and third with one out.

Diaz falls behind 1-2, barely fouls off a knuckle curve to extend the at-bat, but swings and misses on a big cutter for the second out.

It’s up to McCormick, who grew up in nearby West Chester. He works the count to 2-2 before swinging and missing on a knuckle curve.

Nola gets out of trouble in the second, working around the leadoff double to keep the Astros scoreless in the Philadelphia portion of their World Series journey.

Astros 0-0 Phillies, end of first inning

And here comes the Phillies’ leadoff hitter, the National League home run champion Kyle Schwarber, to big cheers from the crowd.

Schwarber falls behind 1-2 before flying out to left field.

Hoskins works a full count, sending the crowd into a buzz. But the first baseman gets under a fastball and flies out to the shortstop Pena.

Realmuto falls behind 1-2 before striking out on an 81mph slider.

A good time to share that Hoskins’ wife, Jayme, bought 100 beers for Phillies fans before tonight’s game.

Jayme Hoskins
Jayme Hoskins, front, wife of Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, poses with fans after paying for about 100 beers. Photograph: Daniel Gelston/AP

Astros 0-0 Phillies, middle of first inning

Aaron Nola takes the mound for his second start of this World Series. Game-time temperature is a pleasant 62F (17C).

The first pitch to Altuve is a strike, prompting a big roar from the crowd. Chants of “Cheat-er! Cheat-er!” cascade down from the stands, a nod to the Houston sign-stealing scandal that tainted their first and only World Series title in 2017. Altuve, who’s struggled badly this potseason, works the count to 1-2 before flying out to center field.

Pena, the ALCS MVP, falls behind 0-2 amid loud chants of “Let’s go Phillies!”, then strikes out on a breaking ball. Two down on nine pitches for Nola, eight of them strikes. Good start.

Alvarez, Houston’s dangerous power hitter in the DH slot tonight, works the count to 2-2 before lining a fastball into left field for a base hit for a single.

Bregman, the 2019 American League MVP (and, interestingly, Aaron Nola’s college roommate at LSU), falls behind 1-2 … then grounds out softly to second baseman Jean Segura.

Aaron Nola
Phillies starter Aaron Nola delivers a pitch during the first inning. Photograph: Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports

We’re getting closer to game time in South Philly. The starting lineups have been announced, with the name of each and every Astros player eliciting thunderous boos from the sellout crowd. American Idol also-ran Madison Watkins has performed the national anthem. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, two of the heroes from Philadelphia’s most recent World Series championship team in 2008, have delivered the ceremonial first pitches alongside Charlie Manuel, the manager of that club.

We didn’t think this ballpark could get any louder than last night, but early indications suggest that anything is possible …

World Series 2022
Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley throw out the ceremonial first pitches ahead of Wednesday’s Game 4 as Charlie Manuel looks on. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

Here’s what history says about Philadelphia’s series lead. Of the 93 previous times when a World Series has been 2-1 after three games, the team with the lead has gone on to win the title exactly two-thirds of the time (62 of 93), including the last five instances (the 2021 Braves, 2020 Dodgers, 2019 Nationals, 2018 Red Sox, 2017 Astros) and 11 of the last 14. The most recent club to win it all after trailing 2-1 are the 2016 Cubs, 2014 Giants, 2013 Red Sox and 2003 Marlins.

If the Phillies win tonight? Their chances, at least historically, tilt from 66.7% to 84.8%. A total of 39 of the 46 previous clubs to take a 3-1 lead have gone on to win it all, including 12 of the last 13. The only seven teams to win the World Series from three-games-to-one down are the 2016 Cubs, 1985 Royals, 1979 Pirates, 1968 Tigers, 1958 Yankees, 1925 Pirates and the 1903 Boston Americans (who won Games 5 through 8 back when the series was a best-of-nine affair).

Lending to the intrigue: the Astros are sending likely AL Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander to the mound for Thursday’s Game 5 while the Phillies have tabbed Noah Syndergaard to open an expected bullpen game. That’s a matchup which, at least on paper, favors Houston by some distance.

Essentially, that’s a lot of words to say that Game 4, which is due to start in about 20 minutes, is crucially important for both the Astros and Phillies.

The lineups!

Here’s a look at tonight’s lineups. No surprises on either side as Houston’s Dusty Baker and Philadelphia’s Rob Thomson go with their regular starting nines when facing right-handed pitching.


Altuve, 2B
Pena, SS
Alvarez, DH
Bregman, 3B
Tucker, RF
Gurriel, RF
Vazquez, C
Diaz, LF
McCormick, CF


Schwarber, LF
Hoskins, 1B
Realmuto, C
Harper, DH
Castellanos, RF
Bohm, 3B
Stott, SS
Segura, 2B
Marsh, CF

Dusty Baker
Astros manager Dusty Baker gestures during batting practice before Game 4 of the World Series on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Photograph: Chris Szagola/AP


Hello and welcome to tonight’s Game 4 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies hold a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven-games encounter after smashing a record-tying five home runs in Tuesday night’s 7-0 rout of the American League champions at Citizens Bank Park, where they improved to a perfect six wins from six in this year’s postseason.

Should the Fightin’ Phils ride that home-field advantage in tonight’s Game 4 and tomorrow’s Game 5 – a deafening atmosphere that right-fielder Nick Castellanos likened to a Liverpool match at Anfield – the Phillies can close out the series in front of their long-suffering home fans and spare themselves a trip back to Houston.

The Phillies will send right-handed ace Aaron Nola (2-1, 4.57 ERA in postseason), their longest-tenured player, to the mound for his second start of the series following an uneven performance in Game 1, when he was tagged for five runs in four and one-third innings. The Astros will start right-hander Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.35 ERA), who has been a trusty weapon for Houston during their run of four American League pennants in the past six years, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.70 ERA in 13 career postseason games.

The first pitch is scheduled for 8.03pm local time, roughly 45 minutes from now. Plenty more to come between now and then.

World Series 2022
Fans line up outside Citizens Bank Park ahead of Wednesday’s Game 4 of the World Series. Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP

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