The Houston Astros won the World Series with a 4-1 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night in front of a rowdy home crowd at Minute Maid Park, eliminating the need for a deciding Game 7 on Sunday. The 2017 championship represents the Astros’ first repeat win in the World Series. After falling behind 2-1 in the series, the Astros returned to win three straight games, including a no-hitter in Game 4—only the second no-hitter in World Series history and the first since 1956.
The Astros returned from a 1-0 deficit in the sixth inning of Game 6 thanks largely to a three-run home run by Yordan Alvarez. Fans in the stadium’s capacity crowd of 42,948 waved orange rally towels in a frenzy as Alvarez’s 450-foot home run blast sailed out of sight and the Astros’ starting pitcher, Framber Valdez, leaped and yelled in the dugout.
In his 25th season as a manager, Dusty Baker led the Astros to their first championship. After Nick Castellanos’ flyout ended, the Houston dugout surrounded Baker, yelled, “Dusty! Dusty! Dusty!” and jumped up and down.
Baker, who was 73 years old, became the oldest manager to win a World Series in his third trip to the Fall Classic in that capacity. He had previously managed in the World Series twice before. In his three years as a Dodger, he went to the World Series and won in 1981. Ahead of Saturday’s game, he had the most victories by a manager without a World Series championship; after this victory, his record now stands at 2,094–1,790
“I have 2,000 victories, and all they talk about is I haven’t won the World Series yet,” he stated on Thursday.
What they formerly said is off-limits. The 3-1 score was achieved when Alvarez hit a home run to straightaway center, over the 40-foot-high backdrop. For the Cuban slugger, it was his first home run since the opening two playoff games.
Later in the eighth, Christian Vázquez added to the lead with an RBI single, upping the score to 4-1. Valdez won again, giving him two victories in this series. Fewer than ten minutes had passed since he threw his final pitch in six innings of work, during which he struck out nine batters. However, when Kyle Schwarber hit a solo home run for the Phillies in the top of the sixth inning, the southpaw walked off the field with his team trailing, 0-1. As he rounded third base after hitting his third home run in many games, Schwarber mimicked the fans by waiving an empty hand in the air.
After Alvarez popped out twice and was hit by a pitch the first three times he faced a Phillies pitcher in this series, manager Rob Thomson turned to left-handed reliever Jose Alvarado for the fourth time. When Alvarez hit a 99-mph sinker on a 2-1 count, it was Alvarado’s third home run allowed to a left-handed batter in his six years as a major leaguer.
The championship caps after a strong season in which the team won an American League-best 106 games. They swept the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees in the first two rounds of the playoffs, going 7-0. However, this latest championship comes after the Astros have been one of the most controversial U.S.
sports teams in recent history due to the sign stealing scandal in which Major League Baseball determined the team used technology to steal signs during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, the former of which resulted in their first championship.
The league produced a report in January 2020 saying that the Astros had used live game film to take signs from opposition pitchers and catchers and that the team had also banged on a garbage can to let its batters know what pitch was coming up.
The Phillies at 22-29 in early June, Joe Girardi was fired and replaced by bench coach Thomson, a 59-year-old baseball lifer getting his first chance as a big-league manager. Thomson was on the Yankees’ big league staff for 10 seasons with Girardi and was a part of their last World Series and title in 2009.
Under Thomson’s leadership, the Phillies went 65-46 in the regular season and 87-75 in the playoffs, good enough for the sixth and final National League postseason position and a return to the World Series for the first time since 2009.