It was a tense and exciting night to be a Philadelphia or Houston sports fan Thursday, with a high-stakes matchup between two sports that gave Houston a lead in the World Series and kept Philadelphia perfect on the gridiron.
In Pennsylvania, it was Game 5 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros, each looking to take the lead in a 2-2 series. Meanwhile, in the NFL, the Houston Texans took on the league’s only undefeated team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
The result of those fans: division.
The Astros beat the Phillies 3-2 to take a three-game, two-game series lead, and continued their streak after the Phillies were hitless in Game 4 on Wednesday.
Philadelphia rallied to one run and had Bryce Harper on base in the bottom of the ninth, but a terrific catch by Astros outfielder Chas McCormick at the wall helped preserve Houston’s victory as the clock struck midnight.
“At that point I was preparing for anything,” McCormick said after the game. “I saw the wall. I saw the warning track. He was tall enough for me to go in and hold his hand.’
Astros starter Justin Verlander earned his long-awaited first World Series victory after going five innings with six strikeouts and one run. He told reporters that he received the “noizu treatment” from his teammates after the game.
“They put me on a trolley and threw me in the shower and doused me with all kinds of things, and it was one of the best feelings of my career,” he said. “He really loves these guys. I love our team.”
The Fall Classic returns to Houston on Saturday, where the Astros can close in Game 6.
With the World Series underway on Thursday night, the Eagles held off the Houston Texans 29-17 to get off to an 8-0 start for the first time in franchise history.
The Texans — largely in a rebuilding phase after trading suspended quarterback Deshaun Watson to Cleveland — would hang tough against the favorites.
The game was tied at 14 at halftime after the Eagles missed a 54-yard field goal on the final play of the first half, and Houston trailed just 21-17 after three quarters.
But Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts extended the lead with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert, who then went up the middle to secure the 2-point conversion on the next play. Eagles defensive end James Bradberry sealed the victory late in the game, picking off a pass from Texans quarterback Davis Mills in the red zone.
Hurts, a star college quarterback, said he was happy for the city after the game, but added that “being up 8-0 and missing out on a national championship,” the Eagles had more work ahead of them.
“Take it day by day. We haven’t got anything yet,” he said. “It’s a daily matter of controlling the things we can, playing to our standards, trying to grow every day.”
Hurts finished the night 21-for-27 for 243 yards and two touchdowns.
The Texans fall to 1-6-1.