In his ninth World Series start of his career, 16 years after his first Fall Classic appearance, Justin Verlander was the winning pitcher on the game’s biggest stage.
The Astros ace caught up with his younger brother, Flippin’ Bats host Ben Verlander, after Houston’s 3-2 win in Philadelphia.
“Just great,” said Justin Verlander after helping the Astros take a 3-2 lead and be one win away from their second title in franchise history. “What a game.”
Justin Verlander shares a heartfelt moment with his brother
Astros pitcher Justin Verlander reflects on what went into his first World Series win while speaking with his brother Ben Verlander.
The pitcher worked his way out of several jams in his five innings and kept the Phillies scoreless after a home run by Kyle Schwarber in the first inning.
“It was tough for me,” Justin said. “[I was] A bit asynchronous at first, but I was able to make pitches that I needed. For me, the slider really clicked, the off-speed stuff.”
Verlander walked four and gave up four hits but also hit out six. The Astros bullpen then held on to the 3-2 win, giving the 39-year-old right-hander his first career World Series victory decision.
“After last night I feel like [The Phillies’] Totally changed schedule where they said, “Let’s try to get on the fastball. We know Justin throws a lot of them. And they were trying to get to the heater,” Justin said. “So the second time around I was able to go a little bit more on the speed through the line-up. … My last start, the off-speed, was terrible. This time it clicked. The slider was there, the curveball was there, and hitting some huge outs with those pitches. So it just felt great.”
Ben also revealed that Genevieve “Vivi” Verlander – Justin’s baby daughter and Ben’s niece – was in attendance. Justin credited his morning routine with Genevieve with helping him through the rest of the day.
“She didn’t care if I win this game or lose this game. We just have all the love in the world and it makes me realize what’s important,” Justin said.
“She completely changed my perspective on things. I know no matter what, I’m going home and I have this beautiful daughter who loves me and I’m so glad she was here tonight. I’m sure she had a big role that I have this one tonight.”
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