Mandatory Credit: Photo by ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (13610397by) Houston Astros players celebrate after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in game six to win the World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, USA, 05 November 2022. MLB Philaldephia Phillies at Houston Astros, USA - 05 Nov 2022

ON TOP OF THE WORLD – THEY DID IT AGAIN! Alvarez’s bomb rallies Astros to World Series championship

No matter your opinion of the 2017 Houston Astros and the validity of their championship, one thing was sure in 2022, whether they ended up beating the Phillies or not: the Astros had built a dynasty.

In Game 6 of the World Series, Houston put the ultimate exclamation point on that statement, overpowering Philadelphia in a 4-1 victory to finish the year as the best team in baseball, something they had been on paper in recent years, but this time, they get the most coveted hardware to go with it.  

Valdez plays a part in early pitcher’s duel

Framber Valdez started Game 6 a bit shaky, issuing a walk to start the game and hitting a batter later in the top of the first, but navigated through the frame unscathed. The Phillies notched the first hit of the game against him in the top of the second, a one-out single by Alec Bohm, who moved to second on a two-out walk, but again Houston’s starter would get out without allowing any damage. 

Valdez settled in after that, striking out the side in the top of the third on his way to five strikeouts in a row while retiring ten straight Phillies to get through the fifth inning. He faced the top of the order in the top of the sixth, and Kyle Schwarber would get the game’s first run with his third home run of the World Series, this one a solo shot to put Philadelphia up 1-0 before Valdez would finish the inning, which would be his last. His final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 93 P.

Yordan comes through

Houston mounted a response in the bottom of the sixth, getting a hit-by-pitch before a single by Jeremy Peña to put runners on the corners with one out and end Zack Wheeler’s night. That brought Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who had last homered on October 13 in ALDS Game 2 against the Mariners.

What a time it was to break that drought, with Alvarez demolishing a pitch from Jose Alvarado 450 feet to center field to give the Astros a 3-1 lead. Christian Vázquez tacked on another run, getting an RBI single to extend the lead to three runs as Houston handed the ball over to their bullpen, which had been so dominant in 2022.

Astros win it all

Hector Neris was first out, taking over for Valdez in the top of the seventh. He got Houston three outs closer, sitting down the three batters he faced in order, including two strikeouts. Bryan Abreu was next, and he, too, was able to get a 1-2-3 inning, putting the Astros three outs away.

After his clutch five-out save in Game 5 to close out that victory and put Houston ahead 3-2 in the series, Ryan Pressly came on to get the most important save of the year and his career, and once again needed to do it against the most dangerous part of Philadelphia’s order. The Phillies would get a one-out single, but Pressly would quickly erase it by retiring the next two batters to start the celebration on the Minute Maid Park field.

News and notes

Two great outings for Framber: After striking out nine in Game 2, he matched that in Game 6, becoming just the 15th pitcher in history to have two games of eight or more strikeouts in one World Series.

Dusty gets his World Series win: In a storied and future Hall-of-Fame career, Dusty Baker finally adds the coup de grace to his 25-year managing career he has long waited for; a championship. 

Peña is your MVP: A Gold Glove, ALCS MVP, and several records for a rookie shortstop: now Jeremy Peña can add World Series MVP to that list after his 10-for-25 performance in the Fall Classic.

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