Alvarez hit a three-run homer, and the Astros took into their second World Series in six seasons last Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Philadelphia.
The Cuban slugger’s sixth-inning blast against Phillies relief pitcher Alvarado gave Houston the lead for satisfaction as the Astros took the best-of-seven championship in Major League Baseball in four games to two.
“I just tried to stay calm and get a good pitch to swing, and that’s what I did,” Alvarez said of his winning on the third game playoff homer.
“It was great. I felt the whole stadium move when I was rounding second base.”
The home win gave Astros manager Dusty Baker, 73, his first World Series title in 25 seasons as MLB bench owner.
“That was the last chapter of the movie,” Baker said. “They told me in spring training they were going to win. Now, what’s next? Party.”
Baker’s 2,093 victories are the most of any coach without a World Series title, and he quickly fulfilled the coveted title.
“It hit me,” Baker said. “The moment Jordan hit that ball on the moon, it hit me.”
The Astros have their fourth World Series and the fifth championship in six seasons, having won the last title in 2017.
After the Astros were discovered using an electronic sign-stealing system, many MLB fans thought it was a tainted title, letting Houston’s batters know what was coming.
Baker took over last January 2020 after A.J. Hinch was fired after the scandal and helped the Astros put the scandal behind him.
“What we’ve been through for the past three years, hope is over,” Baker said. “You have to let it ride.”
The Astros, who lost to Washington in the 2019 World Series and Atlanta in the 2021 series, are eager to win a championship for Baker.
“He means everything,” said Astros star Jose Artuf, one of five players still on the roster in 2017. “He’s here at the right time and with the right team.”
Houston’s Jeremy Pena became the position player’s first rookie to be named World Series MVP and the second rookie MVP in both the conference finals and the World Series.
The 25-year-old Dominican became the first rookie to have a successful first six games in the World Series.
“Individual awards are cool, but that’s the kind of trophy we want,” Pena said, looking at the trophy. “This is our dream.”
The Phillies, seeking their third World Series title after 1980 and 2008, haven’t made the playoffs since 2011 and haven’t made the World Series since 2009.
“I’m proud of them,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “They come every day. They play hard.”
Philadelphia’s Zach Wheeler lost for the second time in the series, while Dominican southpaw François Valdez shot 9 in the playoffs and improved to 3-0.
Kyle Schwaber hit a one-run homer in the sixth inning to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead.
But in the bottom of the sixth inning, Altuve went to first base based on the outfielder’s selection and finished third on a Pena single, prompting the Phillies to replace Wheeler with Alvarado.
Alvarez then blasted the ball over the midfield wall to give the hosts the lead.
“Yordan has been doing this all year,” Pena said. “Always believe in big guys. It’s impressive.”
“As soon as I hit that one, I knew it was big,” Altuve said. “I think 3-1 is a good way for us to win the game.”
Alex Bregman made another run on a sixth-inning walk, advancing on a wild pitch and scoring on Christian Vazquez’s single to create a Final advantage.
The Astros relief pitcher pitched just two runs in 18 1/3 innings, had 25 strikeouts in five innings, and led the Phillies hitters to seal the victory again in the final three innings.
“This pitcher has been great all year,” Houston’s Martin Maldonado said. “The bullpen is outstanding. We found them, and see you later.”