On Saturday, the Houston Astros won their second World Series title with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park.
The Phillies opened the scoring in the sixth inning, and Kyle Schwaber hit a solo home run by Astros starting pitcher François Valdez, who was able to limit damage before being pulled out after the sixth inning. Valdez finished with nine strikeouts, allowing just two hits and one run.
Phillies starter Zach Wheeler was eliminated in the second half of the sixth inning after allowing two base runners. Phillies relief pitcher Jose Alvarado gave up a three-run homer to Astros slugger Jordan Alvarez to give Houston the lead. Houston will run again on Christian Vazquez’s single.
The Astros were closer to Ryan Pressly coming in to close out the game and ensure Houston’s home crowd went home to celebrate a World Series victory.
Astros rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena was named World Series MVP. Pena became the first rookie position player in Major League Baseball history to receive the award, according to the league.
After trailing 2-1 in the first three games of the World Series, Houston threw a no-hitter in Game 4 to tie the series. Game 5 saw Astros ace Justin Verlander claim his long-awaited first career World Series victory. Pitched five innings, struck out six and gave up a run.
Astros captain Dusty Baker can now add the World Series champion to his impressive management resume.
Asked if the win had “hit” him, Baker said, “It hit me.”
“As soon as that ball hit me, Jordan hit one on the moon. That’s when it hit me,” Baker added.
Baker was also asked what the funniest part was for him, and he was quick to reply that the answer wasn’t “in the heart” but called the team “the greatest bunch.”
“They told me in spring training that they were going to win,” Baker said. “Now, what’s next? Party!”
The Astros’ win was the team’s first home championship since 2013. Minute Maid Park wasn’t always a happy hunting ground for teams.
Houston has lost twice since the team won its first title in 2017. The Astros appeared in the 2019 Fall Classic against the Washington Nationals and in 2021 against the Atlanta Braves, both unsuccessfully.
The team’s 2017 victory came with a lot of questions and controversies.
After the win, Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane fired then-manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after Major League Baseball suspended them for two seasons without pay over the account-stealing scandal.
Major League Baseball found the club illegally created a system that decoded and communicated the opposing team’s pitching logo during the 2017 championship season.
The team forfeited its regular first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts and paid a $5 million fine.
The Astros retained their title — but, for many non-Houston fans, it’s still shrouded in scandal.
For Philly, the loss is heartbreaking for the team as it seeks its first championship since 2008. The city was dealt a double whammy on Saturday when the Philadelphia Union lost the 2022 MLS Cup final to Los Angeles FC on penalties earlier in the afternoon.