Cristian Javier’s parents had an idea that he would do something special in Game 4 of the World Series. And the Houston Astros starter, along with his three fellow pitchers, will prove them right.
The Astros posted the first combined no-hitter in World Series history on Wednesday — and the second overall in the Fall Classic — as Javier and the Houston bullpen beat the host Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 to even the best-of-seven series at 2. -2 and secure their place in baseball lore.
In his start for the Astros, Javier threw six innings of no-hit ball, striking out nine and walking two over 97 pitches.
Brian Abreu and Rafael Montero each pitched perfect innings.
After the final out, Javier ran off the mound to hug Pressley on the mound, surrounded by his adoring teammates. In an on-field interview, he was asked when he knew the night would be special.
“It’s funny. My parents told me today I’m going to throw a no-hitter, and thank God I was able to achieve that,” Javier told Fox Sports through an interpreter.
Javier, who is from the Dominican Republic, later told reporters that his father, who had arrived in the United States the day before, had come to watch the vote.
Javier took 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 after the postgame and decided to pull him after the sixth, citing Javier’s increased pitch count and the strength of the Astros’ bullpen.
“It’s always tough to take a guy out, but you’ve got to weigh the no-hitters and history trying to win this game and get back to 2-2 in the World Series,” Baker said.
The only no-hitter in 118 World Series history came from pitcher Don Larson, who threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
The Astros now have the distinction of throwing not only the World Series, but the first combined no-hitter in postseason history, according to Major League Baseball. Outside of the Astros and Larson’s feat, the only other no-hitter in the postseason was thrown by Roy Halladay for the Phillies in the 2010 National League Division Series.
Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson said earlier this year that the New York Mets had the Phillies hit a no-hitter and won the next day.
“These guys, they have short memories. They go home tonight. They sleep tomorrow and come back here and compete like they always do,” Thompson said.
This is Houston’s second no-hitter this season. On June 25th, Javier, Hector Neris and Pres combined against the Yankees.
Astros catcher Christian Vazquez, who called the team’s pitches Wednesday, ran to hug the press after the game. Houston pitching coach Joshua Miller praised Vazquez for his role.
“He’s calling every pitch, he’s seeing the movement, he’s seeing the reaction of the batter,” Miller said, according to MLB.com. “Knowing what to call and in some cases to let go of the whole game plan is huge.”
Vazquez said he didn’t plan to complete Wednesday’s game until the “last inning” because of the powerful Phillies lineup that carried Tuesday’s game into Game 3.
“We’re not done yet, but this is very, very special for us. And when we get old, we remember this, Vazquez said.