Houston Astros end their successful season with one more victory

Houston Astros end their successful season with one more victory

On Saturday, November 5, the Houston Astros won the 2022 World Series Championship in a Game 6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Astros were the winningest team in the American League during the regular season and they carried their success into the postseason.

The Astros entered the playoffs as the first seed, so they had a first round bye. They defeated the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees to secure their fourth AL pennant in the last six years.

“Winning a second title does not change history, but it helps isolate the cheating scandal as a one-time event, as far as people know, and not a crutch on which Houston rested its only title,” writer David Waldstein said.

The Astros last won the World Series in 2017 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, where an infamous cheating scandal took place involving Houston stealing signs. José Altuve, Justin Verlander, Alex Bregman, Lance McCullers Jr., and Yuli Gurriel were the only players remaining on the team from 2017. The players were proven not to be behind the misconduct. Also, all of the coaches and managers behind the scandal were held accountable and they no longer work for the organization.

Fans remain suspicious about the Astros’ integrity in the World Series, although the team was observed closely in the series to ensure that there was no cheating.

“I think that it’s reasonable to be suspicious of the Astros after winning two World Series in such close proximity, after they cheated in the first one,” senior Gaben Helms said. “But in examining the recent history of the Astros in the last few years and before, it would be quite the assumption to think that they must’ve been cheating for so many years instead of realizing their talent and exceptional management.”

Series MVP Jeremy Peña made his MLB debut in 2022, but he was .400 against the Phillies and was the first first rookie shortstop to win the Golden Glove. He was also the first rookie shortstop to ever hit a home run in the World Series. Peña was a third round pick for the Astros in the 2018 MLB draft, and he played in the minor leagues for years before being put on Houston’s 40-man roster earlier this year.

Peña’s ambition combined with his teammates’ postseason experience led the team to the ring.

“I’d say the hardest part was just blocking everything that’s not part of the game,” Peña said. “There’s a saying that you can’t sink a ship with water around. It sinks if water gets inside. So I just try to stay strong and keep the water outside my head.”

Manager Dusty Baker agreed to renew a one-year contract with the Astros as their manager for the 2023 season. Baker was the oldest manager to ever win the World Series, and his consistency and knowledge was admired by the organization. He is also praised by fans all over the country for being a 14-year prostate cancer survivor.

“I’m feeling great, these guys are the greatest guys, they always believe,” Baker added after winning. “This is for my mom and my dad, my mom that passed in January, and my brother and all my boys.”

Designated hitter and left fielder Yordan Alvarez was nominated for the American League MVP Award, and Justin Verlander was nominated for the American League Cy Young Award. Although he had a successful postseason run, Peña was not in the running for AL Rookie of the Year.

Now that the season is over, first baseman Trey Mancini and pitcher Will Smith already entered free agency. In addition, Houston is engaging in possible trades talks with other teams for next season.

“The Astros have been a very accomplished and talented team which is obvious after winning so many pennants in the American League recently. It’s a great team,” Helms concluded.