For only the second time in World Series history, a no-hitter was thrown as four Houston Astros pitchers completed the feat against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night to win 5-0 and secure their spot in the baseball tradition.
Cristian Javier started Game 4 of the series for the Astros, throwing six hitless innings, 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 finished the Phillies in ninth at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
With the victory, the Astros even won the best of seven series at two games apiece, scoring all their runs in the fifth inning.
Javier told FOX after the match, via a translator, “It’s funny. My parents told me today that I was going to throw a no-hitter, and thank God I was able to accomplish that. Javier, originally from the Dominican Republic, later told reporters that his father arrived in the United States yesterday and saw him pitch for the first time.
Houston manager Dusty Baker said after the game that he was thinking of Javier and protecting his health by deciding to retire him after the sixth, noting Javier’s increasing pitching count and the strength of the Astros’ bullpen.
“It’s always tough to knock a guy out, but you have to weigh the no-hitter and the story versus trying to win this game and come back to 2-2 in the World Series,” Baker said.
The only previous no-hitter in the 118-year history of the World Series is Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
The Astros now hold the distinction of throwing the first combined hit in playoff history, according to Major League Baseball. The only other no-hitter in playoff history was pitched by Roy Halladay for the Phillies in the 2010 National League Divisional Series.
Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson noted that the Phillies had a no-hitter thrown against them by the New York Mets earlier this year and then won the next day.
“These guys, they have short memories. They will go home tonight. They’re going to lay down and come back here tomorrow and prepare and compete like they always do,” Thomson said.
It’s 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 didn’t think about going the game without a hit until “maybe the last inning” because of the Phillies’ powerful formation , who battled his way to a victory in Game 3 on Tuesday.
“We haven’t finished the job yet, but it’s very, very special for us. And when we get old, we will remember that,” Vazquez said.