Houston Astros win the 2022 World Series to silence their haters


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Pitcher Justin Verlander wins his second World Series with the Houston Astros

John Anthony Risso, Crier Staff

The Houston Astros have defeated the Philadelphia Phillies and have become the 2022 World Series victors. This is the second time that the Astros have won the World Series and it is the more important win. 

The Astros won their first World Series in 2017 when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers. The first World Series in franchise history was huge news for Astros fans. The problem came when the news broke that the Astros were illegally stealing signs during the 2017 regular season and postseason. 

You might remember this as the Astros using a camera in centerfield to illegally steal the catchers’ signs. Then they used the banging of a trash can to communicate those signs to the teammate in the batter’s box. In other words, the Houston batter always knew which pitch was coming. 

Although there was indisputable proof that Houston did cheat, the commissioner of baseball did not strip them of the trophy. They were punished in other minor ways, but they still retained a World Series title. Many baseball fans would villainize the Astros and treat them as an evil empire. 

The 2022 World Championship is such a big deal for the Astros because many baseball fans will say that this is their first legitimate title. They finally proved they could win a World Series without cheating. Many 2017 Astros members were not part of the 2022 championship team. Only five players were on both the 2017 and 2022 rosters. They are Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Lance McCullers Jr., and Justin Verlander. 

The rest of the team consists of young talent that was called up after the 2017 season. I would argue the younger talent played a larger part in propelling Houston to its second World Series win than the veterans did. Jeremy Peña was the rookie tasked with filling the large shoes of Carlos Correa. 

Correa was part of the 2017 team, but Houston decided to let him go in free agency last offseason. Correa was one of the key cogs of the Houston team who had helped them reach the postseason for the last five years. Peña did as best as he could with replacing Correa as he won World Series MVP. 

Peña got a hit in every single World Series game, which is a difficult task. He also won a Gold Glove and the American League Championship Series MVP. In other words, Peña played a huge part in Houston’s victory. He is a future superstar and a player I would consider watching in the future. 

The other major young player that makes Houston an offensive powerhouse is Yordan Alvarez. Alvarez made his major league debut in 2019 but broke out this year becoming one of the premier power bats of 2022. Yordan hit 37 homers during the regular season, won a Silver Slugger, and was an all-star this year. 

Most importantly, Alvarez hit the 450-foot three-run homer that was the crushing blow to the Phillies in game six of the World Series. Yordan gave Houston the lead in the game that would ultimately win them a World Series. 

The Astros not only thrived offensively but also brought it in the pitching department. Justin Verlander, future Hall of Famer, threw five innings of one-run baseball to earn his first World Series win. In game six, Framber Valdez threw six innings, while giving up one run and striking out nine. The most impressive pitching outing was from Christian Javier who threw six scoreless innings and would be the driving force behind Houston’s combined no-hitter against Philadelphia in game four. 

This was only the second time a no-hitter has been thrown in the World Series, as the last one was thrown by Don Larsen in 1956. Not only did Houston’s starters perform to their best, but so did their bullpen. Rafael Montero, Ryan Pressly, Héctor Neris, and Bryan Abreu were all reliable arms out of the pen. 

Houston had a strong bullpen and was not afraid to use it. The Astros obviously value this bullpen, as they have re-signed Montero to a three-year deal worth $34.5M. This is an extremely large amount for a middle reliever, but it makes sense as Houston’s strong bullpen has brought them success. 

In conclusion, the Houston Astros finally won a legitimate World Series trophy with a lot of help from their new young players. The Astros have been a playoff team for the sixth year in a row and it will be interesting to see if their new young core can continue the dynasty in the future.