Phillies-Astros World Series Game 6 highlights and takeaways

The Houston Astros have won the World Series.

A Yordan Alvarez three-run blast in the sixth inning put the Astros up for good after a Kyle Schwarber home run gave the Phillies a short-lived one-run lead. The team secured their second World Series title ever, alongside throwing the first combined no-hitter in World Series history in Game 4.

Here are the best highlights and takeaways from the Astros' victory.

Game 6 takeaways

The best team won.

The Houston Astros won 106 games in the regular season. They went 11-2 in the postseason, clinching the World Series with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6, becoming the first team to clinch at home since 2013. They did it the way they've done this entire postseason: Dominating pitching and a clutch home run. The Astros had perhaps the deepest pitching staff in the long history of this game, from future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander to Framber Valdez and his unhittable curveball to Cristian Javier and his invisiball to a ridiculous bullpen full of power arms. The staff posted a 2.29 ERA in the postseason (and held the Phillies to a .163 average) with Valdez leading the way in the Game 6, allowing just one run over six innings. The Astros won all four of his postseason starts.

The lineup did just enough through this postseason run, especially Game 6 hero Yordan Alvarez. His three-run home run in the sixth inning -- a monumental blast of 450 feet that was reminiscent of Reggie Jackson's third home run far into the Yankee Stadium bleachers back in Game 6 in 1977 -- turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead and was his third come-from-behind home run of this postseason that late in a game. No player in postseason history had ever hit two such home runs in an entire career. Perhaps that makes Alvarez the new Mr. October -- or Mr. November.

Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena was a revelation. He hit in all six World Series games, making him the first rookie with a hit in six straight World Series contests. He made several excellent plays in the field and hit four home runs in the playoffs, including a go-ahead home run in that 18-inning 1-0 win over Seattle back in the ALDS. His single preceded Alvarez's blast. He was Houston's best position player this month.

In his 25th season as a major league manager, in his 12th postseason appearance, in his third trip to the World Series, Dusty Baker, at 73 years old, is finally a World Series champion manager -- to go along with the one he won as a player with the Dodgers in 1981. Maybe he would have made the Hall of Fame anyway; this ensures that. I hope there's a toothpick on his plaque.

Finally: Yes, the Astros are a dynasty, with two championships, four trips to the World Series in the past six seasons and four 100-win seasons. No, this doesn't erase the tainted title from 2017. No, they are not beloved. But it is one hell of a baseball team. -- David Schoenfield

The sports world reacts

Athletes across the sports landscape gave kudos to the Astros and Dusty Baker on their victory.

The home stretch

The Astros tack on another run to make it 4-1, and now Dusty Baker hands the game over to his bullpen for the final innings. It's going to be tough for the Phillies to mount a late rally against one of the best, deepest bullpens in a long time. One more note on Yordan Alvarez: All three of his home runs this postseason came while the Astros were trailing in the sixth inning or later and put them ahead. He was already the only player to hit two come-from-behind home runs in the sixth or later in a postseason CAREER -- and now he's done it three times in a single postseason.-- Schoenfield

Alvarez strikes back

We've been waiting for Yordan Alvarez to smash something -- and he may have just blasted the Astros to a World Series title. With runners on first and third and one out in the sixth, the Phillies brought in Jose Alvarado to face Alvarez and set up the lefty-on-lefty matchup. It's the move manager Rob Thomson has been making all postseason -- especially in this series -- and I didn't have a problem with it, although the second guessers will do their second guessing. But Alvarado wasn't sharp in his last outing, and Alvarez absolutely destroyed a 98.9-mph fastball -- 112.5 mph exit velocity and a whopping 450 feet to straightaway center. If this 3-1 score holds, Alvarez's home run goes down as one of the most memorable in Astros history -- and maybe No. 1. -- Schoenfield

Schwarber goes yard

Framber Valdez had been dominating the Phillies through five innings with eight strikeouts -- but it only takes one swing to turn a 0-0 game into a 1-0 game and Kyle Schwarber delivered it. Schwarber hit a 2-2 sinker on the inside corner into the right-field stands for his third home run of the World Series and sixth of the postseason. Yes, the old third time through the order comes into play once again. It was the first home run Valdez had allowed at home since July 3 and just the second all season to a left-handed batter. Now the pressure turns on Zack Wheeler, who has cruised through five innings with 62 pitches. Coming up for the Astros will be the top of the lineup -- for the third time. -- David Schoenfield

Framber is dealing

Framber Valdez strikes out five batters in a row, but the fifth one was a break, as home-plate umpire Lance Barksdale -- who normally has one of the tighter strike zones among umpires -- rung up Nick Castellanos on a 3-2 fastball that was low and in, the 10th pitch of the at-bat. The on-field microphones picked up Castellanos saying some words that amounted to something like, "Dear Mr. Umpire, I do believe that pitch did not cross the plate." Still, Valdez has been absolutely ridiculous, throwing curveball after curveball after curveball -- oh, and then rearing back and throwing 97 mph. I'm not sure how the Phillies are going to score off him. -- Schoenfield

Look out!

You can feel the tension mounting as Zack Wheeler blows a 98-mph fastball past Jose Altuve with a runner on second to end the bottom of the third (leaving Altuve still without an RBI the entire postseason). Earlier in the inning, Wheeler nearly had his head taken off by Chas McCormick's shattered bat, which flew past him and ended up around second base. That's a testament to the quality of Wheeler's stuff so far and this game looks like it's going to be a low-scoring pitcher's duel. -- Schoenfield

Battle of nerves

Good news for the Phillies as Zack Wheeler came out throwing smoke in the first inning, hitting 98.9 mph and cruising through an easy seven-pitch inning. He did issue a 10-pitch walk to Kyle Tucker in the second but escaped with a double play. He's also thrown 12 four-seam fastballs out of his 22 pitches, showing confidence in the pitch so far.

Meanwhile, the Phillies have drawn two walks off Framber Valdez, along with a hit batter and Alec Bohm's base hit -- and Edmundo Sosa just missed a three-run homer as Yordan Alvarez caught his fly ball with his back to the wall in left-center. Valdez has thrown 32 pitches through two innings. Of course, running up his pitch count to get to the Houston bullpen isn't necessarily the best thing, but at least the Phillies are putting some pressure on him. Look for them to continue to work that count and lay off that big curveball if Valdez continues to leave it out of the zone. -- Schoenfield

Pregame notes

It will be interesting to see how Zack Wheeler goes after the Astros. In his Game 2 start, the Astros swung at his first five pitches, beginning the game with three straight extra-base hits. His fastball velocity was down about 2 mph in that start, so while he normally throws his four-seamer about 50 percent of the time, he only threw it 23 percent of the time, instead throwing more sinkers. This will be his sixth start of the postseason, and he's thrown 30.1 high-stress innings, so we'll see how much he has left in the tank. With that in mind, Phillies manager Rob Thomson said before the game that both Ranger Suarez and Aaron Nola would be available out of the bullpen. That could create some issues for who the Phillies start in Game 7 -- but you have to get there first.

For the Phillies to beat Framber Valdez, it feels like Nick Castellanos needs to do something. Batting behind Bryce Harper, he's hit just .197 in 16 postseason games without a home run and is 3-for-20 in the World Series with just one RBI. His struggles make it a lot easier for the Astros to pitch around Harper if necessary. Thomson said he considered changing the lineup but decided to stick with the same lineup the Phillies have used all postseason: Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto (who has 11 strikeouts in 22 plate appearances in the World Series), Harper and Castellanos in the top five spots.

Finally, Dusty Baker is one win away from his first World Series title as a manager. He was here with the Giants in 2002, but the Angels won the final two games, including a big rally in Game 6 when the Giants led 5-0. He's ninth on the all-time wins list for managers. The eight ahead of him are all in the Hall of Fame -- but they all also won at least one World Series. There will be a lot of people in the sport rooting for Baker and the Astros tonight. Keep in mind that Game 6 has produced some of the classic games in World Series history: 1975 (Carlton Fisk's home run), 1986 (Mets win), 1991 (Kirby Puckett's home run), 1993 (Joe Carter wins it), 2002 (Angels rally), 2011 (the David Freese game). Maybe we'll get another one. -- Schoenfield

Pregame fashion