Astros’ Justin Verlander takes blame after blowing Game 1 lead

HOUSTON — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander remains on track for Cooperstown. But, somewhat surprisingly, his remarkable 17-year career résumé is still missing a World Series win.

Verlander drove through the first three innings of Game 1 of the World Series, knocking out the first 10 batsmen he faced, but the magic of the perfect game ended when Rhys Hoskins scored a lone hit in the fourth inning.

And then everything unraveled.

After Hoskins’ singles, the Phillies hit five in the fourth and fifth innings, including RBI doubles from Alec Bohm and Kyle Tucker who hit home runs from Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola.

It was Realmuto, whose two-run double tied the score at 5-5, who threw a 10th homer at starter-to-postseason assist Luis Garcia to secure the 6-5 lead and eventual win for the Phils .

“Disappointing”, Verlander described his performance on Friday evening. “My team gave me a five run lead that I couldn’t hold. I’m really confident that I can hold that lead 99 percent of the time and unfortunately I wasn’t today.”

Verlander’s World Series ERA is now 6.07, the worst ever among starters with at least 30 innings pitched in the Classic case. But he blamed no one but himself.

“I have to do better,” he said. “No excuses. I felt like I had some people in good situations and just couldn’t make the pitches I wanted. Much appreciation [the Phillies] as a lineup. They put down some good pitches and when I pitched they could mess it up or put it in play and find a few hits that way. Then when I made a mistake, they hit it hard.”

Catcher Martin Maldonado took responsibility for the results, saying, “I had to call a better play. And we had to do better pitches together.”

With his undecided Friday, Verlander goes 0-6 through eight World Series starts, the most career World Series starts without a win in baseball history.

Astros manager Dusty Baker said it was surprising to see that Verlander, who is on track to his third Cy Young Award this season after an 18-4 record and an MLB-leading 1.75 ERA, didn’t have one after that Victory more can achieve a comfortable early lead.

“Usually two [runs] is enough,” Baker said. “We knew they could score when they came in here; that’s what they’re known for. They just took it from us tonight.”

Verander agreed.

“I have to give a lot of credit to the guys in the other dugout,” he said. “If I made a few pitches, they fouled them or put them in play. And when I didn’t, they hit her hard. They’re a great lineup. They’re hot, and if you don’t do your pitches, they’re gonna hurt you.” Astros’ Justin Verlander takes blame after blowing Game 1 lead

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