Cristian Javier’s parents thought he would do something special in Game 4 of the World Series. And the Houston Astros starter, along with three of his fellow hurlers, would prove them right.
The Astros produced the first combined no-hitter in World Series history on Wednesday – and the second no-hitter of the Fall Classic overall – as Javier and Houston’s bullpen beat the host Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 in seven innings. Tied the best series of 2. -2 and secure your place in the baseball world.
Javier tossed six innings of nine-hit ball in his start for the Astros, striking out nine and walking two over 97 pitches before being relieved.
Brian Abreu and Rafael Montero then pitched perfect innings before Ryan Presley shut out the Phillies in the ninth, leaving the hosts hitless at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
After the last out, Javier ran from his dugout to hug Presley on the mound, who was surrounded by his celebrating teammates. In an on-field interview, he was asked when he knew the night would be special.
“It’s weird. My parents told me today that I was going to throw a no-hitter, and thank God I was able to get it done,” Javier told Fox Sports through a translator.
Javier, who hails from the Dominican Republic, later told reporters that his father had arrived in the U.S. just the day before to watch him pitch.
Javier left the game with a 5-0 lead, with the Astros scoring all of their runs in the fifth. Houston manager Dusty Baker said postgame that he was thinking about Javier and protecting his health when deciding to pull him after the sixth, citing Javier’s increased pitch count and the strength of the Astros’ bullpen. while noting
“It’s always tough to take a guy out, but you have to weigh the no-hitter and history against trying to win this game and get back to 2-2 in the World Series,” Baker said.
The only previous no-hitter in the 118-year history of the World Series came from a pitcher, Don Larson, who tossed a perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
According to Major League Baseball, the Astros now hold the distinction of throwing the first combined no-hitter not only in the World Series, but in postseason history. Outside of the Astros’ and Larson’s feats, there was only one other no-hitter in the postseason that Roy Halladay tossed for the Phillies in the 2010 National League Divisional Series.
Philidelphia manager Rob Thompson noted that earlier this year the New York Mets had not played against the Phillies, then won the next day.
“These guys, they have short memories. They’re going to go home tonight. They’re going to sleep and come back here tomorrow and prepare and compete like they always do,” Thompson said.
It’s Houston’s second no-hitter this season. On June 25, Javier, Hector Neres and Presley combined for one against the Yankees.
Christian Vazquez, the Astros catcher who called his team’s pitches Wednesday, also ran to hug Pressley after the game. Houston pitching coach Joshua Miller praised Vazquez’s character.
“He’s calling every pitch, he’s seeing movement, he’s seeing intense reactions,” Miller said, according to MLB.com. “That’s huge, knowing what to call and when to vacate the normal game plan in certain situations.”
Vazquez said he didn’t think about completing Wednesday’s no-hitter until “probably the last inning” because of the potent Phillies lineup, which blocked Tuesday’s Game 3 victory.
“We’re not done yet, but it’s very special to us. And we’ll remember it when we’re old,” Vazquez said.