Your World Series Champions, the Houston Astros


Avery Rosas

Ryan Pressly and the Houston Astros celebrate an electrifying World Series win on November 5th, 2022.

Avery Rosas, Sports Editor

On the night of November 5th, 2022, the Houston Astros won the World Series in 6 games over the Philadelphia Phillies. Driven by the woes of their past and the promise of their future, their valiant efforts, strained by the pressure of public opinion, came to fruition in a satisfying 6-game series. 

Faced against a Phillies team that had public support and severe momentum on their side, the offense-heavy team met its match in the World Series and a cutthroat Astros pitching staff, whose bullpen had an MLB-record 0.83 ERA with a minimum of 35 innings pitched in the postseason.


The Astros and the Phillies had very different paths to the Fall Classic. With the 2nd best record in baseball, second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Astros secured the best record in the American League and home field advantage through at least the ALCS. 

Their first matchup saw them facing off against a Seattle Mariners team that had just gained momentum from a Wild Card series sweep over the Toronto Blue Jays. I suppose the Astros didn’t get the memo, as they swept them in 3 games, the last of which lasted 18 innings before rookie Jeremy Peña broke the scoreless tie. Their ALCS matchup was an uneventful sweep of the New York Yankees. 

If we look at the games the Astros played from the ALDS and the ALCS, there was a beauty to their dominance. Yordan Alvarez pulverizing a 3-run walkoff home run in the first game of the ALDS was already a good sign of things to come for them.

The Phillies, on the other hand, worked from behind in every series. With the 2nd worst record among postseason qualifying teams, they started each series batting first. It didn’t seem to matter as they won the first game of every series they played this postseason. After being expected to be an early exit, they fought against logic and powered past the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, and San Diego Padres, in that order. 

“The Phillies genuinely shocked me throughout their postseason run considering how strong the National League was,” senior Celeste Banuelos said. “However, I also think that goes to show how resilient the Phillies organization was up to the very last game they played.”

Backed by superstar Bryce Harper, thick boy Kyle Schwarber and “Austin’s Brother” Aaron Nola, there was no stopping the Phillies. While every other team got into the postseason because they had pitching and hitting staffs that were better than everyone else’s, they had not met the Astros yet. 

Fall Classic

In a picture perfect night for baseball at Minute Maid Park, with the roof closed, Justin Verlander was ready to get the World Series started for the Astros, coming off of a staunchy outing against the Yankees in which he struck out 11. In just 3 innings, the Astros were up 5-0 as Kyle Tucker put on his big boy pants and blasted 2 home runs to right field off of ace Aaron Nola. That lead, however, didn’t last. 

Verlander allowed 5 of his own to score in the following 2 innings to put the Phillies right back into the game. That third inning would be the last inning in which the Astros would plate a run that night. After 4 innings of snoozefest spanning from the 6th to the 9th, JT Realmuto snapped a line drive the opposite way to right field to clear the wall and put the Phillies on top in the 10th. With a small heart attack in the bottom of the inning, the Phillies wrapped up Game 1 with a 6-5 win.

“[I liked] them catching up because it kind of shows, no matter the score, that it’s anyone’s game,” senior Katelyn Jimenez said.

Game 2 was all Astros. With Framber Valdez not letting up, he rode his 15,000 RPM curveballs to 6.1 innings of 1-run ball while fanning 9. Zach Wheeler, co-ace with Nola, couldn’t put it together from the first pitch of the game. Within 4 pitches in the bottom of the first, the Astros saw themselves up 2-0 and didn’t look back after plating another run later in the inning. They won the game 5-2 and tied the series at 1 game apiece. 

It was the third game where the series started to shape into something special. NLCS MVP Bryce Harper, in the first inning of the first World Series game at Citizens Bank Park in 13 years, crushed a hanging curveball to put the Phillies up 2 in a hurry. The Bank was roaring, and only more so after Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh went back-to-back in the next inning to double the Phillies run total to 4. 

After 2 more home runs in the game coming from Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins, a World Series record 5 home runs in a single game was plenty to cruise past the Astros for a 7-0 win, and yet another lead in the series at 2-1.

At first, I had a feeling we had the series in the bag,” said Houston resident and avid Astros fan Kiran Kyham. “But after losing 6-5 and then again 7-0, there was a pit in my stomach of anxiety- but I never lost faith in our boys.”

Luckily, the Astros had a short memory. In only 24 hours, they flipped the script from allowing 5 home runs to not allowing a single hit on the night of November 2nd by the combined efforts of Christian Javier, Bobby Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly. With the offense clicking and the pitching being practically perfect, it was a good night for Houston fans.

“Energy was a big thing, they had confidence but not cockiness,” said Kyham. “Pitching was also a big thing. When the pitching and fielding was good, everything was better.”

Already, the Phillies looked like they were running out of their special sauce, and the series had now been tied again at 2-2.

Ready to face off against Justin Verlander for a second time, the first time being one to forget for him, the Phillies were ready to take back the lead in the series. After tying the game in the first with a solo shot from Kyle Schwarber, the stadium was rocking and ready for more dingers. Unfortunately, there would be no more of said dingers from the Phils. Instead, eventual World Series MVP and replacement shortstop Jeremy Peña hit a wallscraper to left off Noah Syndergaard to put the Astros up 2-1.

“It may be too early to say, but I see Peña as an upcoming all star by the way he is playing,” said junior Vincent Salinas. “I personally think he is better than Correa and he is filling that role just fine.”

After tacking on another insurance run in the 8th, the Astros left the Phillies run in the bottom of the 8th at nothing less than a lead cut in half instead of a tie game. With some acrobatics in the ninth, Ryan Pressly closed out a 3-2 advantage in the series with, get this, a 3-2 win in Game 5 and a trip back to Houston for game 6.

It was at this point that the series started to seem out of hand, even for a Phillies team that proved there wasn’t a hole they couldn’t climb out from. Having to face Framber Valdez once again, they handed the ball to Zach Wheeler to try tying the series back up and forcing a Game 7.

“I didn’t expect the Phillies to even get past the Cardinals in the Wild Card series,” Banuelos said. “However, I also think that goes to show how resilient the Phillies organization was up to the very last game they played.”

Both pitchers seemed to be figuring it out, keeping the scoreboard clean through 5 innings until Kyle Schwarber, once again, pulled a fastball into the seats in right field to put the Phillies on top first. The lead lasted for a solid… half inning.

“ I think the Phillies ran out of gas, because after the no-hitter, that really seemed to put their confidence and momentum down by a lot,” Salinas said. “They were doing great just by not being another team swept by the Astros.”

In the bottom of that sacred sixth inning, Zach Wheeler put runners on 1st and 3rd with only one out, prompting an early hook by manager Rob Thomson to bring in his shaky left-handed reliever Jose Alvarado. It did not pan out. After just one batter, albeit the best one on the Astros, left-fielder/DH Yordan Alvarez took Alvarado 450 feet to center field for an electrifying 3-1 lead in the decisive game. 

With all the life now sucked out of the Phillies, Houston put up one more run in the inning for good measure and could already almost feel the champagne bubbling in their mouths and burning their eyes.

For the historic ninth inning, closer Ryan Pressly stepped on the mound to get the most important 3 outs of his life. In 4 pitches, Rhys Hoskins flew out to Kyle Tucker in right field for the first out. The following pitch, catcher JT Realmuto laced a single to center to, as it seemed, postpone the inevitable. 

Just one pitch later, Bryce Harper attacked a fastball in the heart of the zone, failing to get around on it and drifting a fly ball to left field where Yordan Alvarez was waiting under it for the second out. 

With the Phillies season in his hands, Nicholas Castellanos did what he had done all season for the Phillies: disappoint. On only one pitch, he leaned into a slider and lazily popped up to foul territory in right field as Kyle Tucker rampantly chased down the most important play of his life and ended the World Series. 


The story of the Astros the past 6 years has been pure dominance, interrupted by a scandal that weakened their status as a force in baseball. Now that they’ve proved they can win without help, they won’t be looking back. 

“I think the Stros will continue to climb the mountain of success,” said Kyham. “If they add more players like Alvarez, Peña, Tucker and others, I think the Astros will surpass all limits put on them by the people of MLB.”

However, it would be foolish to think that all the opposition that they got didn’t drive them to show how good they could be either way. Playing every day with a chip on their shoulders, they showed what a true contender does when they know everyone wants to see them lose. 

“[The hate] 100% probably motivated them more, everyone wanted them to lose,” Jimenez said. “Kind of like how everyone wanted the Dodgers to lose, but that’s just what happens when you’re a really big and popular team, you’re gonna get hated on a lot more, so they had that for them.”

Now starting to be considered a dynasty, the Houston Astros prevalence as a franchise this year and the past 6 years has been a model that only a few teams have been able to keep up with. If they can continue their outpour of immediate-impact farm pieces, the Astros will be the name circled in bright red marker across the entire American League for a good while.

“Year after year, the Astros have defied the odds placed against them and have demonstrated immense resilience, so I think that the organization has many more years at the top of the American League,” Banuelos said.

In what has been a decade for the ages by a team who went from obsolete to tyrants, it has been solidified by the empowering capacity of their 2022 roster. And in a season where countless memories were made, and countless records were broken, it will always be remembered that the Houston Astros, in all of their might, were the champions of baseball.