The Houston Astros — led by starter Christian Javier — threw the second no-hitter in World Series history. Javier and three relief pitchers combined to blank the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 Wednesday night, 5-0, and pull Houston even in the series in historic fashion.
Combined No-No joins Dan Larson’s Perfect Game for 1956 New York Yankees In World Series Stories. It was the third postseason no-hitter, and the second comes in the same ballpark: Roy Halladay’s NLDS no-no for the Phillies in 2010.
Javier, the precociously quiet 25-year-old Astros starter, threw six no-hit innings as Houston struck out nine and walked two to quiet the Philadelphia crowd and bounce back from a tough Game 3. After 97 pitches, manager Dusty Baker shook hands and returned to the bullpen. Brian Abreu, Rafael Montero And Ryan Presley Each pitched an inning to close out. Overall, the Astros struck out 14 Phillies and retired 18 consecutive runs between walks in the third and ninth innings.
Javier would record his first full season as a major-league starter by entering the record books as the author of the longest hitless World Series start outside of Larson’s perfecto.
Neither is this. Javier tossed seven spotless frames to start a combined no-hitter against the Yankees earlier this season and allowed the lowest second-half batting average in baseball among starting pitchers.
Earlier this year, the Phillies also suffered a combined no-hitter against the New York Mets in April.
A big breakout that established him as a top starter, Javier was nicknamed “El Reptil” – The Reptile because early in his career the coaches thought he was cold., an explanation that now seems particularly apt. He smothered the Phillies — who had shelled Lance McCullers Jr. a night earlier in a Game 3 victory — largely because of his fastball. He hits it high in the zone and creates a sense of it rising. Then he plays it with a biting slider and the occasional curve ball. 70 of Javier’s 97 pitches in Game 4.
All of Houston’s runs came in the fifth inning. They fired the Phillies starter Aaron Nola By hitting three straight singles. When Phillies relief star Jose Alvarado came in, he jumped Yordan Alvarez Drive in the first run, then Alex Bregman followed with a two-RBI double.
An Astros win guarantees the series will return to Houston, needing at least six games to crown a champion. Game 5 will still be in Philadelphia. It starts Thursday at 8pm ET on FOX.
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