Houston Astros cruise past Philadelphia Phillies in second World Series win


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Michael Huertas, Staff Writer

From vision to reality, the dream scenario that every baseball player fanaticizes about is smashing a late-game tie-breaking home run in the World Series to lead your team to victory. Twenty-five-year-old Yordan Alvarez did just that, launching a ball 450 feet across the center field to secure the Houston Astros’ second franchise championship win, the first being in 2017.

On Nov. 6, 2022, the Houston Astros were triumphant in the 2022 MLB World Series, capping off a six-game series versus the underdog Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Field in Houston, Texas. The Astros bullpen put on a clinic on the mound and Houston’s astounding batting steered the team to victory.

“Álvarez belts it, deep to center! It sends back Vierling! Still going back! At the wall! SEE YA LATER! SEE YA LATER! A 3-RUN HOME RUN FOR YORDAN ÁLVAREZ! AND THE ASTROS GO UP 3-1! WHAT A SHOT!”

Heard on “Houston Astros Radio Network” (790AM KBME and 94.5 FM), with Robert Ford on the call alongside former pitcher Steve Sparks.

Champagne showers, mouths of beer and happy tears flooded the clubhouse following MLB legend and Houston’s manager Dusty Baker’s victory speech. The team gave their due diligence to Baker’s first World Series victory in his 25-year management career between five franchises.

The grounds for this victorious series were Baker’s adjustments, field rotations and high team spirits against a piping-hot Phillies team. Concluding the series, the Astros Organization took the center stage to receive their trophy alongside the owner, executives, family and friends. After hitting .400 in the six-game victory, history was made as rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña became the first rookie batter to win the World Series MVP award.

The incredible performance by 24-year-old Peña showcased the postseason highs with a .345 batting average, four homers, eight RBIs and a 1.005 OPS.

“The hardest part was just blocking everything that’s not part of the game,” Peña voiced. “There’s a saying that you can’t sink a ship with water around. It sinks if water gets inside. So, I just try to stay strong and keep the water outside my head.” Additionally, Peña won the American League Championship Series MVP and became the first rookie shortstop to win a Gold Glove award, the highest honor for the best defenders at each position in each league.

“He was a rookie in the regular season,” Astros left fielder Yordan Alvarez shared in Spanish. “When the playoffs started, he was a veteran.”

For the last three seasons, the Astros never escaped the clamor and boos from the 2017 World Series championship victory that was stained by cheating allegations. Amid the sign-stealing scandal, the Houston Astros were forced by the league to admit to using technology and relaying signs to hitters by striking trashcans. In game six, while trailing to the Phillies in the bottom of the sixth inning, Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. addressed his team, “That was always going to be a dark cloud over our head… I’m sure a lot of people aren’t happy that we won, but at the end of the day, we continue just to work and do things the right way.”

The five players that are still rostered from the 2017 team are José Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Lance McCullers Jr. and Justin Verlander.

The Astros bullpen put together a magnificent pitching performance, leaving the Phillies to hit below .100 in the final 30 innings of the World Series. Astro’s pitchers collectively induced 71 strikeouts from the Phillies, a World Series record.

“There’s always things we can do better as an offense, but really, you just have to give credit to their pitching staff,” Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto said. “Top to bottom, the best stuff that we’ve seen this year from every guy we faced. Not a lot of weaknesses in their staff, and that’s why they were successful all season long.”

Philadelphia became the first city to lose two major sports titles on the same day. Five hours before the Phillies’ defeat, the Philadelphia MLS team, the Union, suffered a heartbreaking loss as well. Philadelphia’s postseason Cinderella story was brought to life by interim manager Rob Thomson, who secured the job after the firing of Joe Girardi. Girardi’s two-month disappointment in the Phillies clubhouse ended after a 22-29 start.

Philadelphia started the series with the utmost confidence after game one, erasing a 5-0 deficit to defeat the Houston Astros 6-5 in extra innings. The Phillies’ victory marked the largest comeback by a National League team in a World Series game since 1956, according to Fox Sports. Phillies’ figurehead Bryce Harper miraculously battled through an elbow injury to lead his team to the championship series. Harper was the designated hitter throughout most of the season, including the playoffs, where he caught fire.

He hit .400 against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series (NLDS) and .500 against the San Diego Padres in the NLCS. Harper hit .200 in their loss to the Houston Astros. The six-game series averaged 11.78 million viewers on Fox, its second-lowest TV audience ever. Despite baseball’s declining popularity in recent years, Front Office Sports reported that baseball viewership on Instagram shot up 120 percent in total views, 110 percent on TikTok, 67 percent on YouTube, and 81 percent on Facebook.