Framber Valdez swapped his glove and nail in the middle of the match. He kept rubbing his hands.
By the time he strode off the mound to a standing ovation and put the Houston Astros’ side into the seventh inning, it was clear that he had thrown a curveball into the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It was a really good game for the fans, a really good game for our team and also for me,” he said through a translator after throwing the Astros against the Phillies 5-2 Thursday night. Seven to draw the World Series one game each. . “I just played really inspired.”
“His ball went on tonight,” Phillies star Bryce Harper said after drawing 0 with 4. “The ball was big, sharp.”
Houston became the first team to open a Series game with three consecutive hits, and Valdez hit the ball on target in the seventh game, recovering from a loss to Atlanta last year that knocked him out 19.29 Series ERA.
He threw 42 curved balls out of 104 pitches and got six of the nine on target with that throw, three of them looking for. He allowed four hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings, giving a double lead in the seventh round to Nick Castellanos, who scored in the sacrifice of Jean Segura flying away from Rafael Montero.
Valdez shines down on the massage hands
Valdez says it’s not important to rub his hands.
“No one should think of it as something wrong. I do it openly,” he said. “That’s all my inclinations. I do it during the game, maybe distracting people a little bit from what I’m doing, like maybe looking at me, rubbing different things, and there’s nothing on the pitch that I’m going to throw. I’ve been doing that all season.”
Valdez started the match with a tan glove and orange and yellow fringed spikes, then swapped out before the second round for a dark glove and dark shoe with white stripes.
“Normally there will be different points when I warm up and the times I start the game. Today I decided to start the game with the balls I started,” he said. “I had a long round there and I was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to change everything. I’m going to change my gloves, my belt, my strap. And that’s just what Dominicans do. we do, just some inclination here and there.”
Phillies manager Rob Thomson doesn’t care that Valdez rubs his hands – social media is buzzing, wondering if some stickies are banned.
“The umpires check these guys after most innings and if something happens, MLB takes care of it,” Thomson said. “We saw it the last time he started.”
VIEW | Manager Phillies Thomson whose hometown of Ontario is ready for the World Series:
Jose Altuve, Jeremy Pena and Yordan Alvarez all doubled as Houston took a two-four-shot lead against Zack Wheeler. Edmundo Sosa’s short throw-in allowed the first run to continue.
Bregman added a homer twice on Thursday when Wheeler left a slider in the center of the disc, the sixth Series homer in Bregman’s career.
As the Phillies followed four runs, Kyle Schwarber hit a deep drive down the right lane against a man in the eighth game against Montero which was initially designated as a two-run homer by umpire James Hoye .
Initially, first-base referee Tripp Gibson signaled the referees to time-out and the call was reversed when a team captain looked on determining that the ball was on the left side of the post.
Schwarber, who has led the NL with 46 home runs this season and three more in the knockouts, hit the next pitch at 353 feet to the right, where it was caught by Kyle Tucker right in front of the wall.
Massive teleports to Philadelphia
After a farewell in Houston, the Series will continue on Monday night when Citizens Bank Park hosts the Series for the first time since 2009.
Of the 61 Series matches before a 1-1 draw, the winner of Game 2 has won the title 31 times – but only four of the last 14.
Altuve, who came out of a 4 to 37 slide with three shots on target, cushioned the left side of the box on Wheeler’s first pitch and Pena made a spin into the left corner. in the second game to lead 1-0. Alvarez fouled on a pitch and drove a slider high off the 19-meter-high wall to the left.
Wheeler dropped five runs – four earned – six hits and three walks in five innings, a day after Aaron Nola struggled.
“I think everyone deserves a bad start,” said Thomson. “Those guys have been so good to us for so long, and I fully expect them to come back and be ready to come out and give us a good pitch.”
VIEW | Thomson is excited about the World Series opportunity: