Astros Down Phillies in a Classic World Series

Astros Down Phillies in a Classic World Series

Evan Bruno, Sports Editor

This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions for baseball fans. In February, it looked as if there may not have been a season, with the lockout occurring since November 2021. But, the players and owners reached a deal, and baseball was back. After a dominant regular season by teams like the Dodgers and Braves, both were eliminated early on in the playoffs. The American League favorite Houston Astros handled the Yankees in the ALCS in a sweep, while the 6-seed Philadelphia Phillies took the NLCS from the San Diego Padres in five. 

The Phillies and Astros had very different routes in their journeys to the fall classic. The Phillies were written off by everyone in August, but had fought to grab the National League’s final playoff spot. They shocked the baseball world by knocking off the Cardinals and Braves in back to back rounds, and then solidified their position as NL Champions with a win at home against the San Diego Padres in game five of the NLCS. Meanwhile, the Astros were, since the beginning of September, the consensus AL favorites. In their journey to the World Series, they did not lose. They swept the Mariners, and clinched their spot in the fall classic with a game four win in New York against the Bronx Bombers. 

Game one and two of the series took place in Houston, and game one looked to be a sure Astros victory, as they had cruised to an early 5-0 lead in front of their home crowd. However, the Phillies bats rallied, putting up six unanswered runs, and the bullpen held firm, giving Philly a 1-0 series lead and a 6-5 game one victory. Game two also saw the Astros bounce up to a 5-0 lead, and this time, they held strong, winning the game 5-2, and evening up the series as the two teams traveled to Philadelphia for the next three games. 

After rain pushed each game back a day, Phillies fans poured into Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies hosted their first World Series game since 2009. The energy in the stadium translated into an offensive domination by Philadelphia, as they crushed the Astros 7-0, putting them just two wins away from their first title since 2008. But games four and five both fell into the win column for Houston, with a combined no-hitter being thrown in the Astros 5-0 victory in the fourth game. This no-hitter was only the second in World Series history, the only other being in 1956, when Don Larsen of the New York Yankees no hit the Brooklyn Dodgers. Christian Javier pitched the bulk of this game, and three relievers finished the job. Game five was a tight one, but errors by Philadelphia handed the Astros the win and a 3-2 series lead as the series returned to Houston.

To clinch a World Series title, the Phillies would have to win both games on the road, while the Astros needed to just win one in front of their home crowd. And in game six, after Kyle Schwarber gave the Phillies an early 1-0 lead with a solo home run, the rest of the game was all Houston. The Astros put up four runs in the bottom of the sixth, and that was enough for the Astros to secure the World Series title. After a cheating scandal tainted their 2017 World Series victory of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Astros finally silenced those who questioned the title’s legitimacy. While many are still bitter about what happened in 2017, especially Yankee and Dodger fans, the Astros fanbase can celebrate this title, which nobody, as of yet, can claim illegitimate. 

Rookie Jeremy Pena, the shortstop who replaced star Carlos Correa, put on a clinic in the series, claiming World Series MVP, and making it the first time a rookie held this honor. While many speculated that ace pitcher Justin Verlander or power hitter Yordan Alvarez would claim the WS MVP, Pena ultimately took it due to his clutch hitting in critical situations. 

As the baseball world looks on to the offseason and the upcoming 2023 season, many teams will look different going into next season. Free agency is bound to shake up the landscape of baseball for next season, and the odds we see the same two teams in the fall classic next year are slim. Regardless, the Astros are the 2022 World Series champions, and their title defense beings now.