The Houston Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 Saturday night in front of a raucous home crowd at Minute Maid Park to clinch the World Series and avoid what would have been a decisive Game 7 on Sunday. It marks the second World Series title in franchise history for the Astros, who also won in 2017.
According to Jacob Lev, “It was the Phillies who got the scoring started in the top of the sixth inning with a Kyle Schwarber solo home run off Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez, who was able to limit the damage before being pulled after the sixth. Valdez finished with nine strikeouts and only allowed two hits and a run.”
After allowing two baserunners, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler was pulled from the game with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Phillies relief pitcher Jose Alvarado gave up a three-run home run to Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez to give Houston the lead. Houston would tack on one more run on a Christian Vazquez single (Lev).
Astros closer Ryan Pressly came in to close out the game and make sure the home crowd in Houston went home celebrating a World Series victory.
Houston Astros’ 2017 Cheating Scandal: What Happened
According to David Waldstein, “For years, wherever the Houston Astros traveled, they felt the fury behind the booing and jeers from opposing fans, and withstood charges that their 2017 World Series championship was tainted by allegations of cheating.
Amid the outcry, the Astros never went away. They kept striving to legitimize their success, reaching the postseason each subsequent year while advancing to the World Series three times. But as close as they came in that half-decade, they never managed to prove unequivocally that, yes, they could win a title without illegally stealing opponents’ signs. Now they can, according to Waldstein.
Broadly, the Astros cheated. Specifically, Houston incorporated an electronic sign-stealing system to gain an unfair competitive advantage.
The Astros set up a camera in the outfield at Minute Maid Park, focusing on home plate. A TV monitor was set up near the Astros home dugout, where players and staff would decode the signs from opposing catchers. Once the code was cracked, they’d inform hitters at the plate what pitch was coming via a loud noise. This is how banging on a trash can became synonymous with the Astros.
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