2022-11-11 · 3 min read · MLB/Baseball
Houston Astros Yordan Alvarez

The Associated Press | Troy Taormina and Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

All it took was one inning - one pitch - and Houston is once again back on top of the baseball world.
The Houston Astros have defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games, taking home their second World Series title in seven years. All the scoring in this one happened in the sixth inning, as Kyle Schwarber began things with a line-drive homer to open the top half giving Philly a 1-0 lead. In the bottom half, a Yordan Alvarez three-run shot off of Jose Alvarado ended up being the deciding hit. 3-1 at that point, and followed with a Christian Vasquez RBI base knock to extend the lead to 4-1 - and that’s all she wrote.
Houston, and their outstanding bullpen, shutout the Phillies over the next three innings, culminating in Ryan Pressly forcing a flyout off the bat of Nick Castellanos to wrap things up. A truly remarkable few weeks, as Pressly, Abreu, Neris, Montero all dominated throughout the postseason. Yordan’s struggles with the bat have already been forgotten, with he and Trey Mancini - thanks to his diving play in the 8th inning of Game 5 - being the storybook heroes in Houston.
On the Phillies’ side, I suppose it’s true that all good things must come to an end. An endless amount of storylines existed this season - Joe Girardi getting the shaft, a Canadian at the helm the rest of the way, Bryce Harper living up to his mega-contract, a lousy bullpen that turned themselves into a (mostly) dominant force in October & November, and so many others.
Twelve outs away from forcing a Game 7, with their ace Zack Wheeler on the mound. Ironic, as for the most part it was Philadelphia’s identity to smack around whoever they played in one big inning, and then shut it down the rest of the way.
In the end, Citizens Bank Park’s bell did toll for thee. Three straight losses - two of which came on their home turf, was the deciding factor. When you face a bullpen as good as Houston’s, the margin for error is tiny. Pretty much every runner in scoring position has got to be cashed, and when you have someone like Verlander/Valdez/Garcia/[insert other dominant starter] on the ropes, you have to hit ‘em with a kill shot. And Philly just ran out of gas.
Oh and also, Bradley Zimmer didn’t get a ring! When do the odds open for over/under 4.5 innings played in Toronto next year? No? Too soon?
Speaking of Free Agents, it’s that time of year again! Justin Verlander already declined his option with the Astros, one of many top-tier players about to hit the open market. So as Houston celebrates, the other 29 clubs have already begun scheming for 2024 - the offseason should be fun!
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