By: Brian Helsel
After Game 3 of the World Series ended, it appeared that the Philadelphia Phillies were the team of destiny of the 2022 MLB Season, as they took a 2-1 series lead over the powerhouse Houston Astros in dominating fashion, winning 7-0. The last time the Phillies made the World Series was over 10 years ago (2011), but thanks to MVP play from Bryce Harper, good pitching, and timely hitting from Kyle Schrawber and others, they were 2 games away from being the last team standing. That was until the Houston Astros happened.
After finding themselves in a 2-1 hole, the Astros would tie up the series winning 4-0 in dominating fashion themselves, giving up zero hits. Christian Javier started as a no-hitter, striking out 9 batters for 6 innings. Bullpen arms Ryan Pressly, Bryan Abreu, and Rafael Montero would then contribute to the final 9 outs to complete a historical pitching performance. It was the first postseason no hitter since 2010, and the Phillies became just the second team to get no hits in a World Series game.
Justin Verlander is a Hall of Fame Pitcher who has started in 9 World Series games in 3 different decades. However, in some of these outings, Verlander did not look like the Hall of Fame Pitcher that he is, averaging a 5.63 ERA throughout his World Series career. Verlander would give 5 innings of 1 ER ball in a pivotal game, while rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena would knock in 2 RBIs (1 single and 1 solo home run) to help give the Astros a 3-2 win and a 3-2 series lead.
After two soul-crushing losses, the Phillies had to head back to Houston with the task of winning 2 straight games to win it all, while the Astros were just 1 win away from their first World Series win since their infamous 2017 win. The Phillies showed life when Kyle Schwarber hit a solo shot to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in the top of the 6th. The Astros would respond right away, with a gut breaking 3 run bomb by slugger Yordan Alvarez. It was the second longest home run in World Series history at 450 feet. The Phillies would have no answer to the Astros 4 run inning and would go on to lose 4-1 and the series 4-2.
The Astros have dominated the AL in the postseason for years, reaching the World Series 4 times in the last 6 seasons and winning at least one playoff series every year. They have lost many stars to free agency, such as Shortstop Carlos Correa, Outfielder Geroge Springer, and Starting Pitcher Gerrit Cole but have continued their winning ways as they continue to develop and replace the lost talent efficiently. In his first year in the major leagues, SS Jeremy Pena was tasked with the role of replacing star Carlos Correa, and responded by being the third rookie to win the World Series MVP. He batted for .400 and went 2-4 in the championship clinching Game 6.
As for the Phillies, their Cinderella postseason came to an end after making it farther than most people expected and bringing the magic of playoff baseball back to the passionate sports city of Philadelphia. They have a great core of players and lots of young talent that will only get better.