Astros outlast Phillies in historical World Series


Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

“This time they finish the job! The Houston Astros, World Champions!”

At 10:16 p.m. Nov. 5, these eleven words echoed from the FOX sports booth at Minute Maid Park in Houston and into the living rooms of millions worldwide. Outfielder Kyle Tucker ran into foul territory to make the game, season, and championship-sealing catch for the Astros, igniting mayhem within the confines of Houston’s home stadium. 

Several weeks earlier, at the beginning of the 2022 MLB postseason, few could have predicted the matchup at hand. The Astros are no strangers to the big stage, finding their way to six straight AL Championship Series, and appearing in the World Series in four of those years. Frankly, the Astros were the favorites of many to win it all. After being caught up in a cheating scandal that tarnished their only previous World Series win, the Astros had baseball fans across the country hoping for their downfall, and this year was their best chance yet to prove their legitimacy. 

The opposing Philadelphia Phillies, on the other hand, had very little expectations to reach the Fall Classic. With a regular season record of 87-75, they were heavily outmatched compared to the big powerhouses in the National League. However, they powered their way to the visitors’ dugout at Minute Maid Park, staring the World Series favorites—and their first championship since 2008—right in the eyes. 

The 2022 World Series was a tale of love and loathing, revenge and regret, happiness and heartbreak, with 162+ games of blood, sweat and tears on the line for the season’s final games. In the end it was the Phillies and the Astros, geared up for another entertaining installment of the biggest event in baseball. 

The story begins on an uncomfortably warm October evening at Minute Maid Park, the very field where the Astros would hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy high in a week and a half’s time. However, it was the visitors who were the ones celebrating come the end of the night, as the bats of J.T. Realmuto and Alec Bohm slugged the Fightin Phils to a 6-5 extra-innings win and a 1-0 lead in the series. 

One night later, it was the Astros who restored the series’ parity at 1-1, as Alex Bregman’s two-run homer propelled the home team to a 5-2 victory. The competition would then head to Philadelphia, at Citizens Bank Park, to decide three pivotal games in the heart of the series. 

Game Three was a statement win for Philadelphia. After the game was postponed due to rain, the Phillies came out of the gates hot the following night. Bashing 5 home runs, the Fightin Phils shut out the Astros 7-0 on November’s first game, giving them a crucial 2-1 lead in the series. Game Four would be one of, if not the most important games of the series. The difference between a 3-1 lead and a 2-2 tie is massive, and the Astros would need a serious response in order to keep their World Series hopes alive. 

Their response was heard loud and clear. Four Astros pitchers combined for the second-ever World Series no-hitter, as Christian Javier, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressley silenced the Phillies’ bats in historical fashion. The Astros had dominated for a 5-0 win in Game 4, giving them momentum and an equalized the series at 2-2. 

The night after, the Astros came out on top in perhaps an even more important game. Rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña drove in two of the Astros’ three runs, including a clutch solo home run in the fourth inning to put his team up by two. Despite a valiant attempt at a comeback, the Phillies would take the flight back to Houston with their season on the line. 

Game 6 would have the potential to be the deciding game. One team would hoist the trophy, while the other would solemnly watch on, wondering what could’ve gone differently. 

The scoring didn’t get started until the sixth inning, when Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber blasted a homer into the right field seats. It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth, however, when the game and series would truly change. Houston’s Yordan Alvarez stepped in with two runners on, and belted a fly ball to dead center field. Houston was no stranger to rockets, though not typically in Minute Maid Park, and not typically off of a baseball bat. By the time that Alvarez’s eagle had landed, he was circling the bases, sending the stands into mayhem, and giving Houston a 3-1 lead with just nine outs to go. 

Catcher Christian Vasquez followed up Alvarez’s 450-foot moonshot, the second farthest homer in World Series history, with an RBI single of his own to extend the lead to 4-1. 

Only allowing one baserunner the rest of the night, the Astros shut the back door on the Phillies, clinching their second ever World Series championship, though some would consider it their first legitimate one. After three years climbing back from a devastating scandal, Houston was a city of champions once again. Jeremy Peña’s historical rookie season continued, as he was named the series’ most valuable player. 

The 2022 World Series wasn’t the most flashy or exciting series, but it displayed some of the most high quality play that the league has to offer on both sides of the ball. It’s not every day that you see a no-hitter, a 10-inning thriller or a series-sealing monster of a home run in the World Series. The series was certainly a fun one, and one of the most eventful and impactful in recent memory.