Astros Stifle Phillies Offense, Win Second World Series

Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto, just 1-17 with 11 strikeouts, is just one example of the struggling Phillies offense
Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto, just 1-17 with 11 strikeouts, is just one example of the struggling Phillies offense Yong Kim/ The Philadelphia Enquirer

Phillies Offense Must Take Advantage Of Opportunities

1-21 with runners in scoring position for the Phillies offense must improve immediately. Philadelphia faces elimination against the Houston Astros in the World Series game six. Framber Valdez proves a little erratic, walking Kyle Schwarber, and then getting Rhys Hoskins to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. The next batter, J.T. Realmuto, Valdez hits with a curve, but Bryce Harper grounds out on a sliding stop by Jeremy Pena.

Zach Wheeler’s top of the first proves to be a breeze. It takes him just seven pitches to get through the top of Houston’s lineup. Two on, two out for Edmundo Sosa, and another chance for the Phillies with in scoring position that the the team wastes. In this case Sosa just misses a three run homer, flying out to Yordan Alvarez at the wall in left field.

Wheeler and Kyle Tucker battle and on the tenth pitcher Tucker works a walk. Christian Vazquez then hits into 5-4-3 twin killing on a 98 MPH down and in sinker. Valdez strikes out the side in the top of the third as the Phillies continue to give up on his curve ball and watch it drop in for strikes. Trey Mancini’s first hit of the postseason, a single to right, breaks him out of an 0-18 slump. Wheeler sends the game to the fourth by getting Jose Altuve to swing and miss at a 98 MPH sinker off the plate inside. Chas McCormick is stranded at second.

Game Six Shaping Up To Be Another Pitching Duel

The streak of five straight strike outs for Valdez ends when Bohm flies out to Tucker. Pena lines a first pitch fastball to left to extend his postseason hitting streak to seven games. Wheeler comes back and sets down Alvarez, Alex Bregman, and Tucker in seven pitches. The two teams combine for just three hits in the first four innings. The first team to squeeze out a run may win the game.

Framber Valdez #59 of the Houston Astros pitched six strong innings for Houston in game six of the World Series (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Framber Valdez joins the great Sandy Koufax as the only lefthanded pitchers to strike out five batters in a row in the World Series. Wheeler may not have eight strike outs like Valdez but he only throws 51 pitches to get through the first four innings. Only 11 more pitches are needed to get through the fifth.

Phillies Offense Breaks Through, But Astros Immediately Respond

Kyle Schwarber
Kyle Schwarber hit another home run, but it was not enough for Philadelphia. Astros pitching again shut down the Phillies offense. Philadelphia lost the World Series 4-2 Brad Mills – USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies offense used its best weapon, the home run, to break on top. Kyle Schwarber hit a 96 MPH fastball 385 feet to give Philadelphia the lead. Now Wheeler really can set his bullpen up to win the game with one more strong inning. Unfortunately he hits Martin Maldonado. With one out Pena again singles, and that chases Wheeler. Jose Alvarado faces Alvarez with runners on first and third. Alvarez crushes a middle away sinker 450 feet to put the Astros up 3-1. He smoked a 99 MPH pitch 113 MPH off the bat. Alvarado appears shaken as he walks Bregman on five pitches. Even though Alvarado fans Tucker Phillies manager Rob Thomson brings in Seranthony Dominguez. Vazquez adds to the lead with a single to left, scoring Bregman. It takes a spectacular play by Segura, and a great stretch by Hoskins, to end the sixth.

Yordan Alvarez 450 blast put the Astros up for good in game six. Houston won its second title in five years

Now if the Astros relievers can nail it down they will give Houston its second World Series title in five years. First out of their pen, Hector Neris, makes short work of Nick Castellanos, Bohm, and Segura. Now Zach Eflin, and the rest of the Phillies relievers, are left with no margin for error. He makes sure the heart of Philadelphia lineup will have a chance as it will come up one more time.

Astros Closing In On Second WS Title

The countdown of outs begins for Houston with Bryan Abreu on the mound. He trims the number down to three, as Bryson Stott lines out to Bregman, pinch hitter Brandon Marsh flies out to Tucker, and then Schwarber strikes out on an odd play. Schwarber, who led the NL in home runs this season, decided to bunt and fouled off 98 MPH high fastball. It felt like a desperate attempt to get on base for a team with no margin for error.

Dave Robertson almost worked into trouble but Schwarber threw out Bregman at second by a fingernail. Ryan Pressly now enters the game with a chance to clinch a championship. He faces, Hoskins, Realmuto, and Harper with the season on the line for the Phillies.

First Hoskins flies out to Tucker, but then Realmuto singles to McCormick, bringing up Harper. It takes just one pitch for him to fly out to Alvarez. The Phillies last chance, Castellanos, fouls out to Tucker. The streamers and fireworks now are shot off in the background as the Astros dance on the mound. Houston wins the 2022 World Series, 4-2.

Dusty Baker Finally Gets A Ring As A Manager

Dusty Baker finally won his first World Series as a manager Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Houston may have won its second World Series in five years, but Dusty Baker just won his first as a manager. Fans and analysts criticized him for his handling of relievers in the postseason over the years but the Astros pitching was so good it did not matter. The Phillies offense scored just three runs in the last three games, including being no hit in game four. Now Baker no longer must worry about hearing how his teams fell short in the postseason.

Houston's Jeremy Pena became the second rookie to win LCS and World Series MVP
Houston’s Jeremy Pena became the second rookie to win LCS and World Series MVP AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Players such as Pena, Alvarez, and Bregman made sure Baker may be able to walk into retirement in peace. Pena becomes only the second player to win an LCS and World Series MVP in the same postseason. He is a big part of the reason the future looks bright for the Astros lineup. The Astros pitching depth and bullpen could help Houston make a deep run yet again next year. The questions about an Astros dynasty may now be asked. Coming back next year and winning it again would end that debate.

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