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World Series: Bullpen pitched "phenomenal" in Phillies' win over Astros in Game 1

J.T. Realmuto talks about Phillies' bullpen after Game 1 performance
J.T. Realmuto talks about Phillies' bullpen after Game 1 performance 00:23

HOUSTON (CBS) -- Nick Castellanos trusts anything Rob Thomson does. 


Well, Castellanos at least trusts the Phillies manager with baseball decisions. 

The Phillies battled from behind to beat the Houston Astros in a thrilling 6-5 victory on Friday night at Minute Maid Park to take a 1-0 lead in the World Series.

J.T. Realmuto's go-ahead home run in the top of the 10th inning and Castellanos' sliding catch in the bottom of the ninth inning were both instrumental in the Phillies' win, but they're not in the spot to come away victorious without the performance from the bullpen and Thomson's decision making. 

"We've had so much confidence in our bullpen," Thomson said. "It's given us the chance to finish games when we have the lead and I think it gives our offense the mindset that just hold it and we'll come back at some point."

J.T. Realmuto on how he felt after hitting the go-ahead HR in World Series Game 1 00:17

And that's exactly what happened in Game 1 of the World Series. 

The Phillies trailed, 5-0, early with Justin Verlander, a future Hall of Famer and the likely A.L. Cy Young Award winner on the mound for the Astros, but Philadelphia's bullpen didn't allow a single run the whole game. 

Thomson's most aggressive decision came during the bottom of the fifth inning when he replaced starter Aaron Nola, who got shellacked, for hard-throwing lefty reliever Jose Alvarado. 

Thomson said it was the earliest he's gone to Alvarado in a game this season. 

Thomson said that he went to Alvarado so early because he wanted to keep the momentum going after scoring some runs and tying the game, 5-5, after Realmuto hit a two-RBI double. 

Alvarado only needed seven pitches to get throw Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez, third baseman Alex Bregman and right fielder Kyle Tucker, who hit two home runs in his previous at-bats, in the bottom of the fifth and sixth inning. 

"I thought that was huge," Realmuto said of the decision to bring in Alvarado in the fifth inning. "Not all managers would bring one of their best guys in that early in the game, and he pushed all the right buttons from there, and the guys responded. Everybody we brought in threw the ball well."

Thomson said Alvarado will be available in Game 2 on Saturday night. 

David Robertson got the save, but it didn't come easy. He replaced Seranthony Dominguez, who got the win and recorded three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings on 24 pitches, in the top of the 10th inning.

Robertson got himself in a tough spot after he allowed a double to Bregman and walked Yuli Gurriel. Then, both of the runners were able to advance to second and third base after a wild pitch. 

But with the winning runner on second base, all of Philadelphia let out a collective sigh of relief moments later. Robertson was able to get pinch hitter Aledmys Diaz to ground out to Alec Bohm to end the game. 

Thomson said watching Robertson get out of that jam was reminiscent of games he saw him pitch while the two were with the New York Yankees. 

"That's who he is," Thomson said. "Sometimes it's not going to be one-two-three, but he's mentally tough and he's going to keep grinding, keep pitching. He's not going to be afraid of the moment. That's for sure."

Zach Eflin and Ranger Suarez were also huge for the Phillies out of the bullpen. 

Eflin got big outs against Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena, and went 1 1/3 innings, and allowed one hit and one walk.  

Suarez has been a chameleon-like pitcher for the Phillies this postseason. He's started games, got the save in the NLCS to help the Phils win the pennant and he came in for relief in Game 1 against Houston. 

Suarez came in for 2/3 of an inning toward the end of the game and had one strikeout on 11 pitches.

"No moment is too big for him," Realmuto said. "Every time he gets the ball, he's just pitching. He's playing baseball. He's having fun and it doesn't matter what role he's in, he's been successful for us wherever we've thrown him. He's a guy that when he's coming into the game, the whole team has confidence that, that moment is not going to be too big for him."

Suarez is the presumed Game 3 starter, which is in Philadelphia on Monday, but Thomson said his status is up in the air. 

But regardless if Suarez is able to go in Game 3, they'll be talking about this win for a while, especially the performance from the bullpen and Thomson's aggressive decisions that allowed the Phillies to hang in the game. 

"From top to bottom, the bullpen did phenomenal for us," Realmuto said. 

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