It has been a golden year for sports in Philadelphia, but even with its success, the City of Brotherly Love set a dubious sports record on Saturday.
Philadelphia became the first city to lose two major sports championships on the same day, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Philadelphia Phillies’ magic run through the postseason ended Saturday night when the Houston Astros clinched their second World Series title in six years with a 4-1 victory in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park. Halfway across the continent, the Philadelphia Union soccer team lost the MLS Cup to Los Angeles FC on penalty kicks (3-0) after the game ended in a tie.
The Union’s loss was gut-wrenching, especially after the team had the most points during the regular season, according to USA Today. The team was on the verge of nailing down the franchise’s first championship until Gareth Bale scored in the final moments of extra time to tie the match at 2-2, SBNation reported. Union then lost 3-0 in penalty kicks.
The Union reached the final by beating New York City FC, the reigning MLS champions, in the semifinals, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Phillies’ run to the World Series was more improbable. The team was the No. 6 seed in the National League playoffs, but swept the St. Louis Cardinals in two games in the Wild Card series, then dispatched the Atlanta Braves, the defending World Series champions, in four games to win the National League Championship Series.
In the World Series, the Phillies trailed the Astros 5-0 in Game 1 but rallied to win. Philadelphia held a 2-1 series lead, but the Astros won the next three games to put the series away. That included four Houston pitchers combining to pitch the second no-hitter in World Series history in Game 4.
“I don’t think anybody expected us to be in Game 6 of the World Series ... but us,” Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola told the Inquirer. “We faced a lot of adversity. Down in a lot of games, came back. That’s just the kind of club we developed into.”
The Phillies, who hit five home runs to win Game 3, lost their hitting stroke the rest of the way. Philadelphia hitters struck out 49 times in their four losses to Houston and 12 times Saturday night, according to the newspaper.
“We didn’t get it done. We didn’t finish it,” Phillies star Bryce Harper said. “Doesn’t matter if you’re an 87-win team or a 100-win team.”
Philadelphia sports fans are notorious for booing Santa Claus and throwing batteries at J.D. Drew. Throwing snowballs at NFL opponents has also been part of Philly fan lore.
But fans in Philadelphia can still take heart. The Eagles are 8-0 and the NFL’s last undefeated team this season. They beat the Houston Texans 29-17 on Thursday night. The last time the Eagles were 7-0, they reached the Super Bowl. They are halfway to perfection in the regular season, but the odds of becoming the first undefeated NFL team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins are steep. But the Super Bowl is still a possibility.
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