Astros win 2022 World Series: Houston wins second title as Yordan Alvarez’s Game 6 homer shuts out Phillies

Astros win 2022 World Series: Houston wins second title as Yordan Alvarez’s Game 6 homer shuts out Phillies

The Houston Astros are the 2022 World Series champions. The Astros defeated the visiting Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 in Game 6 on Saturday night to take the series four games to two. For Houston, Framber Valdez was nearly flawless until he allowed a solo homer in the sixth inning to Kyle Schwarber that gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The deficit, however, was short-lived. In the home half of the sixth, Astros shortstop Yordan Alvarez hit a powerful three-run home run against Phillies reliever José Alvarado that gave Houston a 3-1 lead that the closed bullpen would not relinquish.

In addition to Valdez and Alvarez’s heroics, rookie Jeremy Peña had a pair of hits and was on base for an Alvarez homer. This is the second World Series title for the Astros franchise. The second came in 2017, a season in which the Astros were later found to have illegally stolen signs.

Now for some takeaways from the Houston clincher.

Yordan Alvarez dropped a bomb on Philly’s hopes

With two on and one out, Phillies manager Rob Thomson lifted his ace Zack Wheeler in favor of left-hander Jose Alvarado, who has emerged as one of the Phils’ most featured high-leverage players. Alvarado enjoyed a platoon advantage against the first batter he faced, Yordan Alvarez, but as you’ll see it didn’t matter much:

Yes, that’s a game-changing 450-foot home run to center field. Suffice it to say, it was clutch, and it’s not Alvarez’s first time this postseason:

When Alvarez stepped to the plate in the sixth, the game was basically a 50-50 coin toss. After he touched the plate after his three-run blast, the Astros had an 84.3 percent chance of winning the game and the World Series. That’s exactly what happened.

Schwarber ended the pitcher’s duel and gave the Phillies hope

Game 6 starters Framber Valdez and sixth-inning Zack Wheeler competed for the out, and it looked, felt and smelled like one of those games that would have been handed down as a scoreless tie. Schwarber, however, was not in a welcoming mood in the top of the sixth, as Valdez entered the Philly lineup for the third time. On a 2-2 count, Valdez countered Schwarber with a low and inside sinker, and Schwarber reversed for the first round of the game:

That one left the bat at 107.3 mph and traveled 395 feet. Schwarber’s was the first home run Valdez allowed at Minute Maid Park since July 3, and it was just the second time he’s hit a left-handed home run all year.

It was Schwarber’s third home run of the World Series and sixth of the 2022 postseason. Speaking of which, here’s a fresh bit of series history:

Most importantly, though, it gave the Phillies their first lead since Game 3. Unfortunately for Philly, it wouldn’t last.

Houston was elite in the final games of the series

Pitching depth has been the Astros’ playoff calling card, and they’ve largely been key this October and November. That depth led to dominance over the final three games of this series, as Houston’s pitching limited the Phillies to a total of three runs in Games 4, 5 and 6 combined (two of those runs came on Schwarber solo homers). Game 4, of course, resulted in a combined no-hitter for the Astros.

The Astros have joined the next level of franchises

The Game 6 win meant the Astros became the 21st MLB franchise to win multiple World Series titles. (The Phyllis, incidentally, also have two). Of course, the Astros haven’t been around that long in MLB franchise terms. Their first season came in 1962. Among the expansion franchises—that is. those established in that first round of expansion in 1962 or later – no team has more than two titles. The Astros now join the Mets, Blue Jays, Marlins and Royals as expansion teams to win multiple titles.

Baker joined elite company and likely secured a spot in the hall

The Astros skipper becomes just the third black manager in MLB history to win a World Series, joining Cito Gaston of the Blue Jays (1992 and 1993) and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers (2020).

Baker has been a consistently winning presence in the dugout for nearly a quarter of a century. He has 2,093 wins and has led five different clubs to division titles and postseason berths. Baker probably should have been on his way to Cooperstown one day (not to mention his damn good playing career), and now that he’s won a World Series, he’s bound for the plaque for sure. Baker came within five outs of winning the World Series with the Giants in 2002. Who would have guessed that 20 years later he would be done?

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