Astros win 2022 World Series, solidifying their status as a dynasty

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HOUSTON – Yordan Alvarez’s World Series swing home run was the moment Dusty Baker realized the Houston Astros were going to win the damn thing.

As the ball sailed 450 feet to straight center field, first over the head of Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado, then over center fielder Matt Vierling and finally deposited in the deepest part of Minute Maid Park over the high batter’s eye covered with grass. , the Astros had time for the euphoria to set in.

“First time I’ve seen it in this ballpark,” Jose Altuve said of Alvarez’s 450-foot blast.

Yordan Álvarez hits a three-run homer

Yordan Álvarez hits a three-run homer

Yordan Alvarez hit a three-run home run to lead the Houston Astros to their second world championship in franchise history.

One of baseball’s scariest hitters shattered the dreams of the Phillies and, in doing so, propelled the Astros to their second World Series championship in six years with a 4-1 victory in Game 6 on Saturday night. Alvarez’s bat will enter the Hall of Fame, Major League Baseball later announced.

Alvarez entered his third at-bat of the night having hit 37 homers in the regular season and just two in the postseason. It had been more than three weeks, 10 games and 42 at-bats since his last home run, a two-run shot off Mariners right-hander Luis Castillo in Game 2 of the ALDS on Oct. 13. Alvarez had faced off. Alvarado three times earlier in this World Series, the results of which included two pop flies and a hit by pitch.

Therefore, Alvarez was in arrears.

The entire game, it seemed like the Juice Box was waiting to explode. All series, it seemed like Alvarez was waiting for that big hit. Both came in a grand and bewildering moment during a turnaround sixth inning that put the Astros just nine outs away from another championship trophy.

The Astros celebrate the title

The Astros celebrate the title

The Astros hit the ground running after finishing off the Phillies in six games to win their second championship in the last six seasons.

“The boos and the taunts that we got around the country kind of upset these guys, but it also motivated them at the same time,” Baker said. “And it wasn’t an ‘us against the world’ thing. It was more of a ‘get even closer together’ kind of thing.”

As the 42,958 at Minute Maid began dreaming of a World Series parade, Alvarez’s three-run home run was all the more devastating for the Phillies because manager Rob Thomson had just pulled starter Zack Wheeler , who was fantastic for 5 ⅓ innings, of the game. for his best high-level reliever in Alvarado. The lefty-lefty matchup went awry when Alvarado left a 99 mph fly right over the heart of the plate for Alvarez to smash into the moon.

Immediately, Alvarez knew what he had just done. As he beat his chest and locked eyes with his brothers in the Astros’ dugout, the story of deception that had joined the Houston organization was about to be buried.

“That means everything”

"That means everything"

Jose Altuve talks to Ken Rosenthal after the Houston Astros clinched their second World Series title in the last six seasons.

Because after Alvarez’s three-run home run, after Framber Valdez’s phenomenal Game 6 outing, after everything the Astros had gone through to get to this point, no one could deny the talent on this team.

“I’ve been here since 2018 and we’re the best team in baseball,” Astros catcher Martin Maldonado said. “I don’t think we have to validate that to anybody. We’re still the best team in baseball.”

Three hours and 13 minutes into the first pitch of Game 6, Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker caught the final one: a pop fly off the bat of Nick Castellanos that landed in foul territory. Then first baseman Trey Mancini engulfed Tucker in a joyful, bouncy hug. Alvarez raised his arms and smiled from left field before charging onto the diamond.

In the dugout, Astros coaches and staff gathered around their skipper and chanted, “Dusty! Dusty! Dusty!” The crowd, waving orange towels, roared to its highest decibel yet.

Dusty Baker is enjoying his first title

Dusty Baker is enjoying his first title

Dusty Baker talks with Tom Verducci, Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas and David Ortiz after the Astros’ World Series win.

Shortly after the confetti fell from the sky, rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña was named World Series MVP. In game 6he became the first rookie in World Series history to record a hit in each of the first six games. In game 5, became the first rookie shortstop in MLB history to hit a home run in a World Series game. Already ALCS MVP, Peña went on to earn that same honor, again, on baseball’s biggest stage. Who is Carlos Correa?

It’s hard to believe that Peña accomplished all that as a rookie, especially after being tasked with putting himself in Correa’s spotlight. But, this postseason, Peña created his own legacy. And it reflected the Astros’ approach to winning.

What if they lost a few All Stars from their previous AL pennant teams? With the effort came, finally, the glory.

Jeremy Peña is named MVP

Jeremy Peña is named MVP

Jeremy Peña became the first rookie position player to win the World Series MVP award.

“I would say the hardest part was blocking out everything that’s not part of the game,” Peña said. “There’s a saying that you can’t sink a boat with water around it. It sinks if the water gets in. So I just try to stay strong and keep the water out of my head.”

Similarly, the Astros tried to block the vitriol that came after the sign-stealing scandal that helped them win the championship in 2017 was revealed. Now, the Astros have finally won a championship that didn’t is affected by deception. The trash cans and illegal video cameras of 2017 will always be remembered, but for now, they’re in the rearview mirror.

This 2022 trophy can be remembered for Álvarez’s swing, for Peña’s historic rookie postseason, for the club’s unbeatable pitching staff and, finally, for Baker’s first World Series ring after a quarter of century of Major League team management.

Before Saturday night, Baker was the winningest manager in MLB history without a World Series ring. As he said on stage a few minutes after the final exit, “Not anymore. Now they can stop talking about it.”

Are the Astros a dynasty?

Are the Astros a dynasty?

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry analyze the last six years of the Astros and discuss whether Houston is a dynasty.

There’s no doubt about it now: these Houston Astros are a baseball dynasty.

“Getting drafted in 2017, I thought maybe by the time he got to the big leagues, the window would have closed,” center fielder Chas McCormick said. “This team is a dynasty. This window is not closing anytime soon.”

Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr., who was part of the tainted 2017 championship team, doesn’t like to throw around the word “dynasty” because, he said, it’s measured by championships. For example, McCullers said, the 1998-2000 World Championship Yankees are “real dynasties, because nobody could touch those guys.” McCullers would like to see the Astros win a couple more times in a row before declaring the franchise a baseball dynasty.

For now, though, McCullers said that 2022 ring cemented the Astros as: “One of the most dominant franchises in recent memory.” This Saturday night in Houston, McCullers thanked the win with respect.

“We won and we did it the right way,” McCullers said. “There’s only a few of us from that 2017 team that’s still here, and I think for those guys we’ve been fighting for a little bit of our place, I’d say. A little bit of our respect and our pride. For the guys that weren’t here, they’ve earned all of this. It’s really special. It’s hard to believe we’ve made it again and been on this run.”

Count Astros closer Ryan Pressly as one of the Astros players who has been thinking about digging out of the hole the team dug itself into five years ago.

“It’s definitely a weight on everybody’s shoulders. Nobody can say s— now,” Pressly said. “We won. We’re the best. Now they can’t say anything.”

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Deesha Thosar is an MLB writer for FOX Sports. He previously covered the Mets for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

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