The Houston Astros won the franchise’s second World Series title on Saturday after beating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park.
It was the Phillies who started the scoring in the top of the sixth inning with a Kyle Schwarber solo home run against Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez, who managed to limit the damage before being called out after the sixth. Valdez finished with nine strikeouts and allowed just two hits and a run.
After allowing two base runners, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler was taken out of the game with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Phillies relief pitcher Jose Alvarado gave up a three-run homer to Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez to give Houston the lead. Houston would tack on one more run on a Christian Vazquez single.
Astros closest Ryan Pressly came out to close out the game and make sure the local Houston crowd went home to celebrate a World Series victory.
Astros rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena has been named World Series MVP. Pena becomes the first rookie player in MLB history to win the award, according to the league.
After trailing 2-1 in the first three games of the World Series, Houston evened the series after throwing a combined no-hitter in Game 4. Game 5 saw Astros ace Justin Verlander win his long-awaited first career World Series victory after pitching five innings with six strikeouts and giving up a run.
Astros skipper Dusty Baker can now add the World Series champion to his impressive managerial resume.
When asked if the win had ever “hit him”, Baker replied, “It hit me pretty hard.”
“It hit me as soon as that ball – Yordan hit one on the moon there. That’s where it hit me,” Baker added.
Baker was also asked what was the most enjoyable part of the race for him, to which he quickly replied that the answer was not “gotten” yet, but called the team “the best group of guys”.
“They told me in spring training that they were going to win,” Baker said. “Now what is the next step? To party!”
The Astros’ victory was the first time since 2013 that a team had won the title on home soil. And Minute Maid Park hasn’t always been a happy hunting ground for the team.
Houston has stumbled twice since the team’s first title in 2017. The Astros appeared in the Fall Classic in 2019 against the Washington Nationals and in 2021 against the Atlanta Braves, both incurring losses.
The team’s victory in 2017 came with a lot of questions and controversy.
After the victory, Astros owner and president Jim Crane fired then-manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after MLB suspended them both for a season without pay over a scandal. theft of placards.
Major League Baseball discovered that the club illegally created a system that decoded and communicated opposing teams’ pitching signs during their 2017 championship season.
The team lost its regular first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts and was fined $5 million.
The Astros retained their title – but, for many non-Houston fans, it remains shrouded in scandal.
For Philadelphia, the loss brings heartbreak as the franchise seeks its first championship since 2008. The city received a double blow on Saturday as the Philadelphia Union lost on penalties to Los Angeles FC in the final of the 2022 MLS Cup earlier in the afternoon.
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