The 2021-2022 Major League Baseball (MLB) season concluded with an intense World Series matchup between the American League winner Houston Astros and the National League winner Philadelphia Phillies.
After breaking an 11-year playoff drought in the National League, the Phillies entered the MLB postseason in the last wild card spot and fell just short of a truly remarkable postseason run. They tore through the National League side of the postseason, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card Round in a best-of-three series. Philadelphia advanced to face the defending World Series champions, the Atlanta Braves, in the National League Divisional Series. The two teams played a tightly contested series that lasted four games in a best-of-five series. This resulted in the Phillies advancing into the National League Conference Series, only four wins away from the World Series berth. The Phillies achieved these four wins in a best-of-seven series versus the San Diego Padres in which their dominating performance led to a 4-1 series win. This set the Phillies on a path to face the Houston Astros.
Meanwhile, the Astros are a franchise familiar with playing in the World Series Championship. Over the last five years, the team has made three World Series appearances, winning one out of those three to go along with five American League Conference Series appearances. This season was no different. Unlike the Phillies, the Astros entered the MLB postseason with the best record in the American League and second best league-wide with 106 wins and 56 losses earning them the No. 1 seed. Due to their regular season success, Houston received a bye in the Wild Card Round and didn’t play their first playoff game until the American League Divisional Series against the Seattle Mariners. Similar to the Phillies, the Mariners snapped the longest playoff drought in the American League of 21 years. The remarkable success of the Mariners franchise this past season quickly came to a halt after the Astros crushed any hopes of a deep playoff run when they swept the Mariners in a best-of-five series. This pitted the Astros and the New York Yankees in a best-of-seven series to determine which team would represent the American League in the World Series. There was no misunderstanding the Astros’ goal after yet another sweep in the postseason. The Astros entered the World Series without a single postseason loss.
Due to the Astros’ recent success throughout the past decade, the Phillies came into the World Series as underdogs. Nonetheless, the Phillies shocked the league with their remarkably impressive playoff run. Unfortunately, the spectacular play of the Philadelphia Phillies ended with the Astros winning their second World Series Championship in the last six seasons with a 4-2 series victory in Game 6 on the best-of-seven series.
(Sources: Bleacher Report, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Athletic)
Categories: National Sports, Sports
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