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2022 MLB Conference Championship Recap

Joshua Linnehan

The 2022 MLB World Series matchup is officially set. Coming out of the American League, we have the Houston Astros. Houston continues to be a dynasty, securing their fourth World Series appearance in the last six seasons, and they will look for their second World Series win since 2017, when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers. On the other side, the 6 seed Philadelphia Phillies have somehow made it all the way to the Fall Classic. This team is scorching hot at the right time and are now in the World Series for the first time since 2009. Let’s recap how both teams won the Conference Championship.

Houston Astros Vs. New York Yankees

After sweeping the Seattle Mariners in the Divisional Round, the Astros continued to dominate against the New York Yankees. It felt like the Yanks didn’t even stand a chance in this series, despite three of the four games being decided by two runs or less. This is because the Astros had the lead for almost the entire series. The Yankees actually scored first in Game 1, but the Astros followed with four consecutive runs, thanks to three home runs from Yuli Gurriel, Chas McCormick, and Jeremy Pena. Houston starter Justin Verlander had another Postseason gem in his Hall of Fame career, as he struck out 11 batters through six strong innings, and the Stros won Game 1, 4-2. Houston also won Game 2, 3-2, thanks to a three-run home run from Alex Bregman. In Yankee Stadium, New York was embarrassed in front of their home crowd, as ace Gerrit Cole couldn’t deliver, allowing three runs in five innings. Meanwhile, the Astros pitching staff threw a shutout in what was a 5-0 victory. Up 3-0 in the series, the Astros had seemingly punched their ticket into the WS, as only one team in MLB history has come back from a 3-0 deficit (the 2004 Red Sox). The Yankees wouldn’t go down without a fight however, as they took a 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning, and had a 5-4 through 6 innings. In the 7th inning, the Astros would take the lead thanks to an error by Gleyber Torres. The Astros bullpen was incredible this series, allowing just two runs through 12.1 innings, and they closed out Game 4, as Houston won 6-5. The Astros completed the sweep against the Yankees, making them a perfect 7-0 as they enter the World Series. 

Philadelphia Phillies Vs. San Diego Padres
In a battle between the bottom two seeds in the National League, the Phillies would be able to win this series in just five games. This series was still very competitive, but there were so many clutch moments by the Phillies to help secure this NLCS victory. Game 1 in San Diego was a pitcher’s duel, but two solo home runs from Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber, and seven scoreless innings from starter Zack Wheeler led Philly to a shutout, 2-0 win. Schwarber’s home run traveled 488 feet, which was the second longest Postseason home run since 2015. The Padres responded with an impressive 8-5 win in Game 2, as they came back from a four run deficit in the first two innings. The next three games were in Philadelphia, and the Padres were in trouble. The Phillies took back the series lead with a 4-2 Game 3 win. San Diego came back with a four run first inning in Game 4, but the Philly offense would explode. Rhys Hoskins hit two home runs, Harper had two RBI doubles, and the Philly put up 10 runs to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Officially one win away for the World Series, it was Bryce Harper’s moment to shine. Bryce has been incredible this Postseason, hitting .410 with four home runs entering Game 5, but he had his biggest hit yet. Down 3-2 in the 8th, Harper hit a go-ahead two run blast to put Philly on top, and they would go on to win 4-3. Harper was named NLCS MVP, and he’ll look to continue his hot streak in the World Series.