The Houston Astros are world champions.
The Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in Game 6 on Saturday night to claim the 2022 World Series title.
Ryan Pressly got Nick Castellanos to fly out to right fielder Kyle Tucker in foul territory in the bottom of the ninth inning to seal the franchise’s second championship and send the Minute Maid Park crowd into a frenzy.
Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena was named World Series MVP, becoming the first rookie position player to win the award and the third rookie overall. Pena, who also won ALCS MVP, is just the ninth player to earn MVP honors in both the LCS and World Series in the same year, according to MLB.com's Sarah Langs. The 25-year-old recorded a hit in each game of the series, going 10-for-25 with one walk, five runs scored, three RBIs and one home run.
It was the Phillies who got on the board first in Game 6, as Kyle Schwarber broke the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth with a solo shot to right off Framber Valdez.
Philadelphia wouldn’t lead for long, though. After Zack Wheeler was pulled in the bottom of the sixth following a hit-by-pitch and a single, Yordan Alvarez hit a mammoth 450-foot three-run homer to center field off Jose Alvarado.
Christian Vazquez then drove in an insurance run later in the frame with a two-out RBI single off Seranthony Dominguez.
The Phillies, who were looking to become the eighth wild card team to ever win the World Series, jumped out to a 2-1 series lead over Houston following a 7-0 Game 3 beatdown at Citizens Bank Park.
That would prove to be the turning point in the series, as Justin Verlander finally shook off his World Series struggles in Game 5 to help the Astros take their first lead in the series and set up Saturday’s close-out win.
The Astros’ World Series triumph comes in a season where they posted the American League’s best record at 106-56. They swept the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS and swept the New York Yankees in the ALCS.
Both of Houston’s championships have come in the last six years, a span that’s included four AL pennants and a combined regular-season regular of 541-329. Of course, part of the Astros’ dominant six-year stretch, including their 2017 championship season, is tainted by the team’s cheating scandal.
Only five players remain from that 2017 title team: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Lance McCullers and Verlander. There’s also a different manager in Dusty Baker and a different general manager in James Click.
For Baker, he finally captured his elusive first championship after 12 postseason appearances and three World Series appearances over a 25-year managerial career. The three-time Manager of the Year winner had previously held the record for most victories as a skipper without a World Series title at 2,093.
At 73 years and 143 days old, Baker is the oldest manager/head coach to win a championship across all four major professional sports.