Cristian Javier’s parents had the idea that Game 4 of the World Series would offer something special. And the Houston Astros starter, along with his trio of pitchers, will prove him right.
On Wednesday, the Astros posted the first no-hitter in World Series history and the second hitless total of the Fall Classic as Javier and Houston’s bullpen swept the host Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 to even the best-of-seven series in two games. -2 secure their place in baseball legend.
Javier threw six innings of no-hit ball in his start for the Astros, striking out nine and walking two over 97 pitches in relief.
Bryan Abreu and Rafael Montero pitched a perfect inning before Ryan Pressly shut out the Phillies in the ninth, leaving the hosts hitless at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
After the final out, Javier ran from his dugout to hug Pressly on the mound, surrounded by their victorious teammates. In an on-field interview, he was asked when he knew the night would be special.
“It’s funny. Today, my parents told me they were going to shoot the no-hitter, and by the grace of God, I was able to do that,” Javier told Fox Sports through a translator.
Javier, who was born in the Dominican Republic, later told reporters that his father had arrived in the United States a day early to watch the pitch.
Javier left the game with a 5-0 lead, and the Astros scored all of their runs in the fifth. Houston manager Dusty Baker said he was considering Javier’s health when he decided to pull Javier after the sixth inning, noting Javier’s pitch count and the strength of the Astros’ bullpen.
“It’s always tough to take someone out, but you’ve got to weigh the history with someone who hasn’t been batting against trying to win this game and get back to 2-2 in the World Cup,” Baker said.
The only previous no-hitter in the 118-year history of the World Series came from Don Larsen, who threw 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 also in postseason history. In addition to the Astros and Larsen’s feats; The only no-hitter of the postseason was thrown by Roy Halladay for the Phillies in the 2010 National League Divisional Series.
Philidelphia manager Rob Thomson noted that the Phillies had a no-hitter earlier this year against the New York Mets, who won the next day.
“These guys have short memories. They will go home tonight. They go to bed and come back here tomorrow and prepare and compete like they always do,” Thomson said.
It was Houston’s second hit of the season. Javier on June 25; Hector Neris and Pressly got it.
Astros catcher Christian Vazquez, who called his team’s pitches on Wednesday, hugged Pressly and ran after the game. Houston head coach Joshua Miller praised Vazquez for his role.
“He’s calling every pitch, he’s seeing the action, he’s seeing the hitter react,” according to MLB.com. “Knowing what to call and when to throw out the general game plan is big.”
Vazquez said he didn’t think he was done until it was the “last inning” because of a strong Phillies lineup that slowed to a Game 3 victory on Tuesday.
“We are not done yet, but this is very special for us. And when we’re older, we’ll remember this,” Vazquez said.