Astros Beat Phillies in 6 Games to Win World Series

Ben Stewart, Sports Editor

WOODBURY — The World Series finally came to an end Nov. 5 when the Houston Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6. The Astros won their second World Series in franchise history after being perhaps the greatest team in the regular season. Unfortunately for the Phillies, their fantastic season came to a close just a little bit short.

The Phillies started an amazing run after making the playoffs as the sixth and final National League team. They defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in three games in the NL Wild Card Series, particularly overturning a late 2-0 lead in Game 1 with six runs in the ninth inning.

“I was definitely surprised with the Phillies this postseason,” said Nonnewaug senior Corbin Dillane. “They played really well coming out of the Wild Card; I thought they played great as a team.”

Philadelphia then unleashed a barrage of runs in three victories to defeat the 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series. The Phillies went on to upset the San Diego Padres, another underdog team, 4-1 in the NL Championship Series. Bryce Harper hit a thrilling two-run homer in the eighth inning of a 4-3 victory in Game 5 to secure the pennant.

“Bryce Harper was unbelievable this postseason,” said Dillane. “He had so many clutch hits and his team rallied around him on their journey to the World Series.”

The Astros won the American League Championship Series by sweeping the New York Yankees in four games.

Astros rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena, 25, won the ALCS Most Valuable Player Award after hitting his third postseason home run Oct. 23. His homer occurred in the third inning of the team’s decisive Game 4 victory, a 6-5 win to clinch the series.

“Pena was definitely the most effective player for the Astros,” said Dillane. “His American League MVP award was well deserved; he played flawlessly and won a couple of games by himself.”

With the exception of one game with a lot of home runs, the Astros emerged as the clear winner of the series. The Phillies could have left Philadelphia losing by two games if it weren’t for a five-run rally in a 10-inning Game 1 that was spearheaded by J.T. Realmuto (2-for-4, three RBI). Similar to Game 2, Houston came back strongly, cruising to a 5-2 victory behind a three-run first inning and an outstanding performance by Framber Valdez.

Game 3 appeared to have the potential to be a crucial turning point. Lance McCullers was attacked by the Phillies, who pounded him for five home runs (the most ever against a starting pitcher in a World Series) and seven runs. The Astros were kept off the board by Ranger Suarez, and the Phillies claimed a 2-1 series lead with two more games to be played in boisterous Philadelphia.

In the sixth inning of Game 6 of the World Series, the Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez celebrates a three-run home run. (Houston Astros’ Instagram)

Fortunately for Houston, they were able to bounce back and win the next two games of the series at Citizens Bank Park. Cristian Javier put on a display in Game 4 by going six innings without allowing a hit and striking out nine. As Houston no-hit the Phillies in Game 4, he was outstanding, and the Astros’ bullpen added three more scoreless innings behind him. It was just the second no-hitter in a World Series after Don Larsen’s perfect game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series.

The Astros went on to defeat the Phillies bullpen and Noah Syndergaard in a 3-2 pitchers’ duel in Game 5. Justin Verlander was victorious. As the series headed into a potentially decisive Game 6, the Astros returned to Houston with a 3-2 advantage.

The Astros won their second World Series thanks to the pitching of Valdez. In addition to Yordan Alvarez’s huge sixth-inning three-run homer, Valdez worked six excellent innings.

“At the end of the day the Astros were the best team in baseball,” concluded Dillane. “They may not be well-liked, but they play the best baseball on both sides of the field, and it’s tough to beat a team that excels in all parts of the game.”