The excitement began in the sixth inning and grew with each of the nine outs remaining. It was only a matter of time before the Astros won the World Series on Saturday. And, it was mission accomplished for Houston.
With the Astros’ 4-1 victory over the Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series, Minute Maid Park became the site of an orange alert.
The Astros won their second World Series in six years, leaving the Phillies to ponder an unexpected (at least among fans) run through the postseason that ended two victories short of the ultimate prize.
Dusty Baker’s first World Series title in his celebrated managerial career, removing the 73-year-old from the list of best managers/head coaches who have never won a title.
The Astros won their third straight series, with a sellout crowd of 42,958 chanting “We want Houston” at various points, a dig at Yankees fans who had done the same before the ALCS.
The Astros’ pitching proved too much for the Phillies, who were held to three runs in the final three games after exploding for five homers in Game 3.
This one swung in the Astros’ favor in the sixth inning, when Yordan Alvarez hit a three-run homer to put the Astros up 3-1.
Zack Wheeler had been replaced by Phillies manager Rob Thomson, who summoned left-hander Jose Alvarado to face Alvarez, who crushed a 99-mph fastball over the center-field fence.
Martin Maldonado was hit by a pitch to start the rally, and Jeremy Pena followed with a single with one out. Alvarez, who hit 37 home runs during the regular season, had yet to leave the yard in the postseason until his blast against Alvarado.
Alex Bregman followed with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Christian Vazquez’s RBI single made it 4-1.
Wheeler pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, one walk, and one hit batsman. After 70 pitches, the right-hander was removed.
Kyle Schwarber homered to break the scoreless tie in the sixth inning. The home run was Schwarber’s sixth of the postseason, tying him for the team lead with Bryce Harper. Framber Valdez’s 2-2 fastball over the plate was crushed into the right-field seats by Schwarber.
Valdez was removed with the Astros leading 2-1 after the sixth inning. In his second dominant start of the series, the left-hander allowed only two hits while striking out nine and walking two.
Wheeler, pitching on six days rest, saw his velocity return after it had dropped in his previous start and rolled through the early innings.
Kyle Tucker walked to end a 10-pitch at-bat in the second, but Wheeler got Christian Vazquez to hit into an inning-ending double play. Trey Mancini singled to start the third, but Wheeler retired the next three batters. Three straight outs followed Jeremy Pena’s single to start the fourth.
Wheeler struggled through five innings of Game 2 relief, allowing five runs, four of which were earned. Thomson gave Wheeler the extra rest, assuming the right-hander was feeling the effects of overtraining in September after the forearm inflammation that had forced him to the injured list subsided.
In the second inning, Alec Bohm singled and Matt Vierling drew a two-out walk, giving the Phillies their best early chance against Valdez. Valdez, on the other hand, retired Edmundo Sosa in order to flee. Vierling and Sosa were inserted in the starting lineup ahead of Brandon Marsh and Byson Stott to provide more right-handed bats against Valdez.