A Tale of Two Cities

November 4, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Happy Friday 

Last night was a tale of two cities in primetime. Philadelphia and Houston went head-to-head for the World Series and Thursday Night Football. The towns split the night, so everyone’s a winner (and a loser), right?

It’s a celebration weekend ahead. We’ll crown three champions in Monday’s newsletter — MLB, MLS, and NASCAR. Get pumped.

Letter Rip!



Astros On the Brink


Houston Wins Game 5 (3-2) Behind Peña’s Bat & Verlander’s Arm to Take 3-2 Lead in World Series


Houston, we have a Peña. The Astros flipped the momentum in the World Series with a Game 4 no-hitter, but Game 5 was won with a combination of rookie Jeremy Peña’s bat and Justin Verlander’s gem. Verlander and Phillies ace Noah Syndergaard were locked in a pitching duel that led to a 1-1 game until Peña’s 4th-inning home run. Houston added another run in the 8th inning, and the Astros\’ defense came up clutch every time the Phillies threatened.


In the 9th inning, Chas McCormick made an incredible catch at the wall to rob J.T. Realmuto of an extra-base hit. Closer Ryan Pressly walked Bryce Harper before getting Nick Castellanos to ground out and end the game.


Astros Top Performers

Jeremy Pena3-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs

Justin Verlander: 5 IP, 6 Ks, 4 Hits, 1 ER


Verlander Gets 1st WS Win: The elusive World Series win finally came for Verlander in Game 5. Previously, he was 0-6 in eight World Series starts with a 6.07 ERA. He watched Kyle Schwarber smash a home run in the 1st inning before settling in and relying on the slider.


Watch: Verlander Gets 1st World Series Win in Game 5 (3-2)


How Pitching Flipped the Fall Classic

The Astros trailed in the series (2-1) before dominant pitching in Games 4 and 5. Houston gave up just six hits and two runs in the last two games to retake the advantage in the Fall Classic (3-2). Games 6 and 7 are back at home.


Remaining World Series Schedule

Gm 6: Phillies at Astros (Sat. 8:00 pm ET)

Gm 7: Phillies at Astros (Sun. 8:00 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

SI: 3 Thoughts as Astros Outlast Phillies in World Series Game 5

MLB: Verlander Collects Elusive WS Win: ‘It Wasn’t Easy’

USA Today: Nailbiter: Astros Survive in Game 5 to Take Control of World Series



Still Flying High


Eagles Overcome Tough Test From Texans (29-17) to Stay Undefeated (8-0)


Another one for the birds! The Eagles stayed perfect on Thursday Night Football despite an early scare from the lowly Texans. Houston marched down the field and scored on the opening drive before hanging with the Eagles through the first half (14-14). But the birds clamped down in the second half, scoring two touchdowns and intercepting Texans QB Davis Mills twice. Jalen Hurts was sensational once again for Philly. He completed 77 percent of his passes and threw for two touchdowns while the Eagles racked up 143 yards on the ground, including 23 from Hurts and 93 from RB Miles Sanders. The Texans gave it their all at home in primetime, but the league’s top team was just too tough.


Philly 8-0 Fun Facts: The Eagles are the first team with a positive turnover differential in each of their first eight games since the 1972 Steelers. They’re the 21st team in NFL history to start a season 8-0, and it’s the first 8-0 start in franchise history.


Top Performers

QB J. Hurts (PHI): 21/27, 266 total yards, 2 TDs

RB M. Sanders (PHI): 17 carries, 93 yards, 1 TD

RB D. Pierce (HOU): 27 carries, 139 yards

TE D. Goedert (PHI): 8 receptions, 100 yards, 1 TD

DL J. Hargrave (PHI): 7 tackles, 3 sacks


Hurts By the Numbers (2022 Season)

Passing: 2,042 Yards | 12 TDs | 2 INTs | 68% Comp.

Rushing: 88 Carries | 326 Yards | 6 TDs


Watch: Eagles Withstand Test from Texans (29-17)


Additional Storylines

CBS Sports: Eagles Stay Unbeaten as Texans Run Out of Gas

NFL: What We Learned From Eagles Win Over Texans on Thursday Night Football



Nets Suspend Kyrie Irving


Kyrie Irving Suspended At Least 5 Games Without Pay After Failure to Apologize for Promoting Antisemitic Film


The off-the-court issues never end for the Brooklyn Nets. Point guard Kyrie Irving — who infamously missed much of last season due to his vaccination stance — has been suspended for at least five games. The announcement came on Thursday after Irving was given yet another opportunity to apologize for his recent tweet promoting a film with antisemitic messaging. Both Irving and the team had already pledged to donate $500,000 each to anti-hate causes, but Irving’s failure to offer a sincere apology — despite given another chance in a post-practice media session — caused an uproar. NBA commissioner Adam Silver called for Irving to publicly apologize earlier in the week. He eventually posted an apology on social media after the suspension.


Brooklyn Nets 2022 Turmoil

The Nets are just eight games into the 2022 season, but they’ve already been the case study of dysfunction. Ben Simmons has continued to struggle on the court. Head coach Steve Nash was fired earlier in the week giving Kevin Durant his offseason wish. And now, another Irving saga has led to a five-game suspension, and it could be more significant.


\”We were dismayed today when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs, nor acknowledge specific hateful material in the film. This was not the first time he had the opportunity — but failed — to clarify… We are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets.” — Team Statement


Additional Storylines

ABC News: Nets Suspend Kyrie Irving for Failing to ‘Disavow Antisemitism’

NY Post: Kyrie Irving Finally Releases Apology After Refusal Prompted Nets Suspension



\"🏀\" NBA: Magic Hand Warriors 4th Straight Loss

The future is bright is Orlando! The Magic got their second win of the year on Thursday over the Warriors (130-129) by weathering a 15 threes from Steph Curry (39 pts) and Klay Thompson (27 pts). The young duo of Paolo Banchero (22-8-3) and Jalen Suggs (26-9-4) led the way.


\"🏒\" NHL: Ovechkin Scores Record 786th Goal

On a busy NHL night, one storyline rose above. The Capitals got beat by the Red Wings (3-1), but their lone goal was a milestone for Alex Ovechkin. His 786th goal tied Gordie Howe for the most goals with one franchise. He’s now 15 goals behind Howe’s overall mark (801) and 108 behind Wayne Gretzky (894).



\"⚽️\" MLS Cup Final Preview

The participants in the 2022 MLS Cup final are set, and for the first time since 2003, the top seed in each conference — the Philadelphia Union in the East and LAFC in the West — will square off. (ESPN)


\"🏈\" Tennessee-Georgia Preview

Who had Week 10 and Georgia hosted Tennessee as college football\’s game of the year? Even the most optimistic of Volunteers fans wouldn’t have predicted it. But here it is. The SEC and College Football Playoff hang in the balance. (USA Today)


\"🏎️\" NASCAR Championship Preview

The NASCAR Cup Series championship contenders know what they have to do Sunday to win the title at Phoenix Raceway. They don\’t necessarily need to win as the top finisher among the four finalists is crowned the champion. (FOX Sports)