The 2022 MLB World Series begins Friday as the Philadelphia Phillies take on the Houston Astros. The Phillies were the last team in baseball to make the playoffs and have made it to the World Series for the first time since 2009. On the American League side is the Astros who had the second-best record in all of baseball and the best in the American League. This is the Astros’ fourth time in the World Series in the last six years. Both of these teams have had plenty of experience on this massive stage. Let’s look at the best game in recent World Series history for each team which feature a walk-off for each team.
The Astros have been in the World Series a ton lately. They have certainly become the new American League powerhouse. With appearances in 2017, 2019 and 2021 they have had some amazing games. The one to highlight is game five of the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Coming into this game the series was notched at two. Whoever came away victorious had the chance to win it all in game six at Dodger Stadium.
With Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers and Dallas Keuchel starting for the Astros it appeared it would be an intense pitchers’ duel. Instead, it was quite the opposite.
The Dodgers kicked off the game with some early scoring. In the top of the first, the Dodgers loaded the bases with a single and two walks. Logan Forsythe hit a two-out two-run single and then Kike Hernandez scored on a perfect double steal. This put them up 3-0. They added one more in the fourth on an Austin Barnes two-out RBI single.
After being completely shut down through the first three innings the Astros finally responded. In the bottom of the fourth Carlos Correa hit an RBI double and was immediately followed by Yuli Gurriel who smacked a three-run homer to tie the game at four.
The three-run homers continued into the fifth. Cody Bellinger gave the Dodgers the lead back with a three-run blast. Jose Altuve followed that up with a three-run blast of his own. As expected the score in the fifth inning read 7-7.
The Astros bats finally appeared to put the game away. In the bottom of the seventh George Springer smacked a solo homer, Altuve hit an RBI double and Correa hit a two-run homer. They had pushed the lead to 11-8.
Heading into the top of the ninth the Astros held a 12-9 lead. It did not hold up. Yasiel Puig hit an extremely short two-run home run to make it 12-11. With two outs and two strikes, Chris Taylor hit a game-tying RBI single.
The game headed into extra innings. For only the second time over the last six innings, the Dodgers were held scoreless.
In the bottom of the 10th, the Astros had two outs with nobody on. After Brian McCann got hit and Springer walked Alex Bregman came up for the biggest at-bat in his young career. On the first pitch he saw from Kenley Jansen he lined a walk-off RBI single. The way this game went it is only right to be topped off with a walk-off.
Prior to this, the last World Series game to feature double-digit runs by both teams was game two of the 2002 World Series when the Anaheim Angels beat the San Francisco Giants 11-10.
The last time the Phillies were in this position was in 2009 when they lost to the New York Yankees in six games. However, the year before they took down the Tampa Bay Rays in five games to win the 2008 World Series. That was their second title in team history. That series featured some excellent games including game three which we’ll look at now.
After splitting the first two games in Tampa the series moved to Philadelphia.
The Phillies got the scoring started immediately. In the bottom of the first Jimmy Rollins singled and then Jayson Werth walked, and they moved up a base on a wild pitch. On a 3-1 pitch, Chase Utley hit an RBI ground out.
The Rays tied the game up on a Gabe Gross sacrifice fly in the top of the second, but that did not hold up long.
The Phillies regained the lead in the bottom of the second with a Carlos Ruiz solo home run to go up 2-1. That score did not change until the bottom of the sixth when Utley and Ryan Howard began the inning with back-to-back homers. This pushed the lead to 4-1.
In this mammoth game, the Phillies got excellent work from starter Jamie Moyer. Through the first six innings, he allowed only three hits, one walk and one run.
The seventh inning shifted the tides. Moyer allowed a single and double to begin the inning. The Rays played some small ball and brought home both runners with ground outs. The lead was suddenly cut to 4-3.
The Rays kept the small ball game going into the top of the eighth. B.J. Upton began the inning with an infield single. He later stole second and then with Evan Longoria up to bat he stole third and scored on a throwing error to tie the game at four.
All of the momentum seemed to be going the way of the Rays. The bottom of the ninth ensured the Rays could not complete the comeback. The Rays hurt themselves by hitting the lead-off man and then intentionally walking the next two. This loaded the bases for Ruiz. On a 2-2 pitch, Ruiz hit a little swinging bunt down the third baseline for a walk-off single.
Scoring in any way possible made this game so unique. The Rays did an excellent job getting back to even, but the Phillies took advantage of three free passes in the ninth to claim game three. It was a walk-off they’ll never forget. They went on to win the next two to seal the series at home.
The Phillies and Astros have both had their fair share of wild World Series games. Both of these games show the resiliency of these teams the last time they were crowned champions. With what these teams offer the possibility of a tight game featuring a walk-off is entirely possible. The 2022 World Series features two teams with plenty of talent and tons of determination. The series begins Friday in Houston.
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