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WAMC Sports Report: Astros to face Phillies in World Series

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Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are set to play Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. Both teams stamped their ticket to the Fall Classic on Sunday. Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman delivered big hits and the Houston Astros advanced to the World Series again, finishing a four-game sweep of New York in the AL Championship Series with a 6-5 victory aided by another defensive gaffe from the Yankees. Taking advantage of a costly error by second baseman Gleyber Torres to produce the go-ahead rally in the seventh inning, the Astros won their second consecutive pennant and fourth in six years. Rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña hit a three-run homer off ailing Yankees starter Nestor Cortes to help the AL West champions overcome an early 3-0 deficit. Peña was named MVP of the ALCS.

Bryce Harper slugged his fifth homer of the postseason, a two-run blast in the eighth inning that turned Citizens Bank Park into a madhouse, and the $330 million slugger powered the Philadelphia Phillies past the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Sunday and into the World Series for the first the time since 2009. Rhys Hoskins also hit a two-run homer to spark Philadelphia’s improbable run to the National League pennant and a shot at its first World Series championship since 2008. The wild-card Phillies were the last club into the 12-team playoff field this year after finishing third in the NL East. The Astros are 7-0 this postseason and in the World Series for the fourth time in six seasons. The Phillies are back in it for the first time since 2009.

Houston will open the World Series at home Friday night against Bryce Harper and the wild-card Philadelphia Phillies.

Aaron Judge’s future is uncertain. Judge’s career in pinstripes might have ended when he made the final out in a 6-5 loss to the Houston Astros, who completed a four-game AL Championship Series sweep as the Yankees unraveled with yet another defensive meltdown. In the hours before opening day, Judge turned down a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29, choosing instead to remain eligible for free agency after the World Series.

NFL

The Buffalo Bills had a bye-week this week.

The New York Giants' game against Jacksonville came down to the final play — and the final few inches before the goal line. Safeties Julian Love and Xavier McKinney stopped Jacksonville receiver Christian Kirk at the 1-yard line with no time on the clock, preserving a 23-17 victory over the Jaguars. The Giants (6-1) matched their best start since 2008.

The New York Jets didn't feel much like celebrating their 16-9 escape of the punchless Denver Broncos on Sunday. The Jets lost Breece Hall to a left knee injury in the second quarter and coach Robert Saleh said the initial diagnosis is an ACL tear that would end the running back's rookie sensational season. "We'll see tomorrow," Saleh said. "I'm going to stay as optimistic as I can, but yeah, he's a heck of a football player." The Jets (5-2) lost Hall when he was tackled near their sideline by Patrick Surtain II and Jonas Griffith after a short run in the second quarter. He was helped off the field and carted to the locker room.

Tua Tagovailoa got the Dolphins off to a fast start in his return from a concussion, and Miami held on throughout a scoreless second half to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-10. The Dolphins snapped a three-game skid that began on Sept. 29, when Tagovailoa was concussed in a loss at Cincinnati.

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell below .500 with a stunning 21-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers, who won just their second game of the season Sunday despite playing with a third-string quarterback and interim head coach. Brady was 32-of-49 passing for 290 yards for the Bucs. One of those incompletions came when Mike Evans dropped a wide-open 64-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the game. Brady hasn’t had a losing record this far into a season since the 2002 New England Patriots dropped four straight games to reach 3-4. Brady has never been under .500 after eight games.

Injuries to Pelicans stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram took some of the luster off of New Orleans promising start to the regular season. Williamson was diagnosed with a posterior hip contusion after crashing to the court on a transition dunk attempt that was blocked from behind by Utah’s Jordan Clarkson during the fourth quarter of the 122-121 overtime triumph by the Jazz on Sunday night. Ingram, a dynamic scorer from the wing who’d averaged 28 points in the Pelicans’ first two games, left in the first half with a concussion. The Pelicans play next at home against Dallas on Tuesday night and it's not clear whether Williamson or Ingram will be in uniform.

Patrick Mahomes threw for 424 yards and three touchdowns to rally Kansas City back from another double-digit deficit in the Chiefs’ 44-23 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Mahomes got off to a rough start in this Super Bowl rematch with his early interception putting Kansas City in a 10-0 hole but that once again proved to be no problem as he led the Chiefs to touchdowns on six of the next seven drives. The comeback improved Kansas City to 13-9 with Mahomes when falling behind by at least 10 points with the most memorable coming in a Super Bowl win over the 49ers following the 2019 season.

On Monday Night Football, it’s Chicago at New England at 8:15 p.m.

NBA

Cleveland over Washington on overtime 117-107

Portland beat the LA Lakers 106-104

Golden State got by Sacramento 120-125

No regional teams played last night. Meanwhile, Devin Booker scored 35 points, Chris Paul became the third player in NBA history to reach 11,000 assists, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-95.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The University at Albany has announced head men’s basketball coach Dwayne Killings will be suspended for five upcoming early season games.

Following an internal investigation into claims that Killings had inappropriate contact with a student athlete, UAlbany announced in April that Killings would face a suspension and $25,000 fine.

Assistant Coach Bobby Jordan wills serve as Acting Head Coach for games on Oct 30th, and November 2nd, 7th, 8th, and 14th. Killings will coach the November 12th Albany Cup against Siena. A university spokesperson said the college looks forward to Killings leading the team this season.