Philadelphia – Lance McCullers Jr. had just set a world championship record by conceding five home runs in a game and he didn’t have any. Neither the volatility theories that circulated widely on social media, nor the possibility that it has been rusty having only filed twice since October 3, are none of them.
“Listen,” he said after the Astros assimilated 7-0 batting By Philadelphia Phillies in Game Three of the World Series. “I’m who I am. I’m going to throw a lot of speed. Everyone knows this.”
McCullers said his two-time home run Bryce Harper’s first-half hit on a first-court curve ball was in a bad position. McCullers added that despite Harper’s hotness, perhaps if she was in a better position the leftist would still attack her.
“I got hit, man, you know?” He said. I thought they hit a lot of hard court. But at the end of the day, we had a very bad defeat. I was badly beaten. Obviously, I wanted to play well and do better than I did. But at the end of the day, all I can do is go and get ready for Match 7.
After winning 7-0 to trail the Phillies two games to one in the World Championships that began with Houston as the fiercely top favorites, the notable thing about the Astros club’s post-game tone was their low standards. McCullers talked about getting ready for Game 7 because if this streak stretches that far, he’ll probably be the guy who gets the ball. Talk about pressing one win in all three games here to ensure the series returns to Houston for Game 6.
Suddenly, the team that kicked off during the regular season and then started post-season 7-0 realizes they’ve got into an alley fight.
And with a crowd of 45,712 roaring so loudly that Citizens Bank Park seemed to shake all night, things aren’t about to get any easier in Game 4 and 5.
McCullers’ five home runs was an amazing development because he’s not a bowler who usually gets hurt by the long ball.
In 47⅔ rounds of the regular season in 2022, he only allowed four home runs.
In four rounds and a third in Game 3, Phillies lit him for five.
He made 78 throws total, 52 of which were a strike. Which means nearly 10 percent of his strikes have been redirected over fences in Citizens Bank Park.
“It was mind-boggling because he’s not giving up on his teammates,” said Dusty Baker, the Houston city manager. “He usually keeps the ball in the court. He was not happy with it. We were very surprised by him.”
The eye-catching moment that spread so quickly entered the game with five players. Harper had just blew the Homer, Nick Castellanos was in the batter box and Alex Bohm was on deck when Harper shouted from the bunker, “Hey Bohmer! Bohmer! I might have something! Hey!”
Boom returned to the hidden railing and Harper bowed for several seconds of intense conversation. Castellanos finished the inning with the ball, but Boom started the second by frustrating the McCullers’ first pitch, a 93-mph fastball, over the left field fence.
Harper did not address what he said, but acknowledged that the exchange took place.
“I think anytime you have information that you want to be able to give to your teammates at any time,” Harper said.
Did Harper read something the McCullers was doing and hand the information to Bohm? Circumstantial evidence certainly points in this direction. But it is expected that the Philis were not about to give up anything and the Astros claimed ignorance.
“I think guys have conversations all the time before the bats, before the rounds, things like that,” McCullers said when asked directly about the Harper-Boom chat. “I’m not going to sit here and say anything like that. I’ve been missed. End of story.”
He also said there were no inter-role talks in the Astros hideout covering even the possibility that the Phillies might have picked one up.
“No,” McCullers said. “This has nothing to do with tipping. I’m not going to sit here and stand in front of you guys and blame something. I was there and they beat me and they beat us and that’s it.”
Bohm’s game was Homer’s only quick hit, and McCullers said the pitch “leaked in” above the board a lot. Brandon Marsh got an 83mph passer that McCullers didn’t think was wrong. Kyle Schwarber spent an 87 mph change in fifth on a 1-2 account which was the longest ride of the night, 443 feet to dead center that plummeted high into the bushes that acted as the hitter’s eye. Rhys Hoskins plunged into a slide at 85 mph just after Schwarber exploded, finally knocking McCullers out of the game.
“It wasn’t, like, out of the corner of the board but it was 2 and 2 and I get the facts of the game,” McCullers said. “At that point, I’m trying to eat out. I’m trying to save our country. I’m not trying to walk with anyone.”
McCullers was still in the game at that point because it was only 4-0 and he found a groove, retired eight Phillies in a row on a variety of grounds and attacking strikes. But then, as fast as a lightning strike, the ball reappeared.
Martin Maldonado and Baker agreed with McCullers that they said they saw no evidence that the Phyllis knew what was going to happen.
“Four of the five house hurdles they hit were out of speed pitches,” Becker said. “And they hit one fastball that Boom hit. Now that’s not anything I’ve noticed. Guys are always looking for something, always looking to see if they change their rhymes. We haven’t seen anything. Sometimes they just hit, you know what I mean?”
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