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#pounditWednesday, February 8, 2023

Dusty Baker gains dishonorable distinction with Game 1 loss

Dusty Baker smiling

Jan 30, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Dusty Baker speaks after being announced as the Houston Astros manager during a press conference at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that Dusty Baker pulled a [checks notes] Dusty Baker with Friday’s loss in Game 1 of the World Series.

Baker and the Houston Astros dropped their Fall Classic opener to the Philadelphia Phillies despite jumping out to an early 5-0 lead after three innings. The Phillies scored three in the fourth inning and two in the fifth inning to tie the game before eventually winning in extras by the final of 6-5.

The Astros manager Baker gained an unfortunate distinction with the loss. He became the first manager to blow a five-run lead to lose a World Series game since … himself in 2002. Baker was the manager of the San Francisco Giants when they lost to the then-Anaheim Angels in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series after going up 5-0.

Instead of Scott Spiezio, Darin Erstad, and Troy Glaus providing the heroics at Baker’s expense, this time around, it was Alec Bohm, JT Realmuto, and Nick Castellanos. But it still had to feel like déjà vu all over again for Baker.

Baker still has yet to win a World Series as a manager and also still has yet to get as close as he did in 2002 when his team lost in seven games (Baker’s Astros lost in six games to the Atlanta Braves in last year’s World Series). While Baker is fortunate that the collapse happened in Game 1 instead of later on in the series, there is definitely added urgency for Baker to finally win it all this year.

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