After 106 regular season wins, back-to-back sweeps in the ALDS and ALCS, a fourth pennant in six seasons and a 4-1 win in Game 6 of the 2022 World Series, the Houston Astros can officially call themselves a dynasty.
When Nick Castellanos’ fly ball down the right field line came to a rest in Kyle Tucker’s glove, all of the chatter of the last three seasons has been silenced. The Astros have solidified their place in history. With a second World Series championship in six years, the Astros have checked their final box on the way to dynasty status, solidifying their status as one of the most dominant teams of the modern era.
Framber Valdez once again turned in a dominant playoff start, carving up the Phillies over six innings to the tune of two hits, two walks, nine strikeouts and one run on 93 pitches. Valdez capped off his two World Series starts with a final line of: 12.1 innings, six hits, five walks, 18 strikeouts and a 1.46 era.
Framber flummoxed the Phillies lineup in both of his starts and would have made for a more than worthy World Series MVP, had it not been for the rookie phenom Jeremy Peña.
Peña’s encore to his ALCS MVP was equally special, finishing the Fall Classic with a .400 batting average. He drove in four runs, hit the go-ahead home run in Game 5 and made multiple phenomenal defensive plays throughout. Peña became the first rookie position player ever to take home the World Series MVP.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the 6th, Peña picked up his second knock of the night, putting runners on the corners and chasing Phillies’ starter Zack Wheeler from the contest. The Astros’ slumping slugger, Yordan Alvarez dug in.
Alvarez had struggled mightily in the World Series up to that point, recording only two hits. His third was the deciding blow, both in the series and in my home renovations, as his titanic blast just came to a rest after crashing through my living room window.
A single from Christian Vasquez brought Alex Bregman home, tacking on an insurance run to go up 4-1. It took until Game 6, but Houston finally received a meaningful contribution from their Designated Hitter.
From there, the Astros vaunted bullpen slammed the door shut on the Phillies’ underdog run. Hector Neris struck out two Phillies on 10 pitches in the 7th, followed by a 10-pitch inning from Bryan Abreu in the 8th. Elite closer Ryan Pressly sealed the deal, needing only seven pitches to put a bow on the 2022 World Series.
The Astros dominant pitching was their recipe for success. They trotted out an elite rotation, backed by the best bullpen in the game. Houston finished with a 0.83 bullpen ERA for the postseason, lowest in MLB history, becoming the first team ever to pitch 40+ innings in a single postseason and record a sub-1 ERA.
The 2019 and 2021 World Series demons have been vanquished. Dusty Baker’s Hall of Fame resume has been solidified. The team and its fans have claimed their much-deserved second World Series championship.
For all of the insane takes and opinions that have been spewed about this team over the last three seasons, there’s only one thing left to say: “Houston, we’ve got a dynasty!”