As the dust clears in Major League Baseball, Houston stands victorious

In front of a boisterous home crowd at Minute Maid Park, the Houston Astros won the 2022 World Series in six games against the Philadelphia Phillies. Rookie Jeremy Peña took the MVP award.

Game one saw the Phillies complete a comeback from five down versus ace pitcher Justin Verlander, with JT Realmuto’s clutch solo home run in the top of the 10th inning, proving just enough to carry Philadelphia to victory. The Astros again raced out to a five run lead in Game two, with runs from Jose Altuve, Jeremy Peña and Yordan Alvarez, but this time retained their lead with a great pitching performance from Framber Valdez. Game three was the most lopsided of the series, with Bryce Harper and the Phillies hitting a World Series record of five home runs against Lance McCullers Jr. In a stunning reversal from the previous game, rookie starting pitcher Cristian Javier and relievers Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Presly pitched the first combined no-hitter in World Series history, with the Astros offense scoring five runs in the fifth for the win. The Astros won the closest of Game five’s, surviving multiple scares to take the series lead. Game six then saw the Astros take the series 4-2 with a powerful Yordan Alvarez home run securing the World Series.

The Astro’s championship is an important victory for the organization. After many near misses and their 2017 championship being plagued by the cheating scandal, this series allows them to move forward and truly establish themselves as a dominant force in the MLB. It could even be the catalyst for a dynasty, considering their core is filled with young talent, headlined by elite rookie Jeremy Peña.

The World Series MVP award completes what has been one of the greatest rookie seasons in memory for Houston shortstop Jeremy Peña. His great defense and clutch scoring ability have been at the forefront of this World Series run, with his 18th inning home run to end the series versus the Seattle Mariners likely to become a career defining moment. He ended his historic rookie season with a Golden Glove, an ALCS MVP and a World Series MVP. 

Dusty Baker, a longstanding baseball figurehead, finally took his first World Series as manager after years of close misses. His prestigious career will continue as he has stated his intention to return to the Astros next year. As a player, he won in 1981 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he held the record for the longest stretch of games without a championship as manager. After reaching the World Series in 2002 with the San Francisco Giants, and in 2019 with the Astros, he was at long last able to hoist the trophy again. In a triumphant victory speech, he said, ”Now, what’s next? Party!”

While Houston will be partying, Philadelphia, however, will be reminiscing of what could have been. Even if Bryce Harper and company couldn’t “finish the job,” the Phillies still made a Cinderella run to make it to the finals. In what looked to be a lost season midway through the year with the firing of manager Joe Girardi, new manager Rob Thomson and his squad have made a spectacular turn-around. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this heavy-hitting, happy-go-lucky squad.

With the Phillies, defending champions the Astros, the ever-powerful Dodgers, the emerging Mariners team and many other contenders, next season promises to be as volatile and entertaining as this one. For now though, the Houston Astros are your baseball world champions.