For just the second time in World Series history, a no-hitter has been thrown as four Houston Astros pitchers completed the feat against the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday night to win 5-0 and secure their place in baseball lore.
Cristian Javier started Game 4 in the series for the Astros, tossing six innings of no-hit ball, striking out nine and walking two. He threw 97 pitches before being relieved.
Bryan Abreu and Rafael Montero each pitched a perfect inning before Ryan Pressly closed out the Phillies in the ninth at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
With the win, the Astros even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece, scoring all of their runs in the fifth inning.
Javier told FOX after the game, via a translator, “It’s funny. My parents told me today I was going to throw a no-hitter, and thanks to God, I was able to accomplish that.” Javier, who hails from the Dominican Republic, later told reporters his father arrived in the US yesterday and saw him pitch for the first time.
Houston manager Dusty Baker said postgame that he was thinking of Javier and protecting his health when deciding to pull him after the sixth, noting Javier’s increasing pitch count and the strength of the Astros’ bullpen.
“It’s always tough to take a guy out, but you have to weigh the no-hitter and history versus trying to win this game and get back to 2-2 in the World Series,” Baker said.
The only previous no-hitter in 118 years of World Series history is Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
The Astros now hold the distinction of throwing the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, according to Major League Baseball. The only other no-hitter in postseason history was tossed by Roy Halladay for the Phillies in the 2010 National League Divisional Series.
Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson noted the Phillies had a no-hitter pitched against them by the New York Mets earlier this year, then won the next day.
“These guys, they got a short memory. They’re going to go home tonight. They’re going to go to bed and come back in here tomorrow and prep and compete like they always do,” Thomson said.
This is Houston’s second no-hitter this season. On June 25, Javier, Hector Neris and Pressly combined for one against the Yankees.
Astros catcher Christian Vazquez said of the Game 4 performance that he did not think of completing the no-hitter until “maybe the last inning” due to the potent Phillies lineup, which slugged their way to a Game 3 victory Tuesday.
“We’ve not finished the job yet, but this is very, very special for us. And when we get old we’re going to remember this,” Vazquez said.