HOUSTON — Considering the quality and depth of this Astros pitching staff, Houston has been nearly impossible to beat when given a lead of multiple runs. And to kick off this World Series on Friday, Kyle Tucker took care of that — and then some.
Tucker’s first home run swing off Aaron Nola sent a frenetic, hanky-waving Houston crowd into delirium in the second inning in Game 1. When he sent another baseball into the right-field stands one frame later, he just about blew the roof off, giving Justin Verlander and the Astros an early five-run lead. Unfortunately for Houston, it didn’t hold up, as Philadelphia rallied for a 6-5 win in 10 innings at Minute Maid Park.
Tucker’s performance was just the eighth multi-homer game in World Series history, and the first since the Rays’ Brandon Lowe in 2020. Somewhat surprisingly considering the Astros’ recent domination of appearances in the Fall Classic, this performance made Tucker the first Houston hitter with multiple home runs in a World Series game.
Michael Brantley had been the last Astros batter to club multiple homers in a postseason contest, when he did so in Games 4 and 5 of the 2020 American League Division Series against the A’s. Brantley had also been the last Astros player to go deep in consecutive innings of a postseason game.
Tucker was relatively quiet in the AL Championship Series, when he went 2-for-13 with a pair of singles — but he took the first big swing of this Fall Classic by crushing a 1-1 changeup from Nola an estimated 359 feet into right field, marking the first time an opposing left-handed hitter had taken Nola’s changeup deep all season. The Astros continued the rally with three more knocks, capped by Martín Maldonado’s one-out RBI single.
Being spotted that early 2-0 advantage had things looking good for the Astros, considering they had won each of their last 15 games in which they led by multiple runs (including postseason games), and 31 of their last 32 such games overall.
But Tucker wasn’t done there, stretching the lead even further by working a full count off Nola in the third inning before swatting a sinker over the head of right fielder Nick Castellanos and into the stands to secure the first multi-homer game of his postseason career and his first career game with multiple blasts at Minute Maid Park.