World Series no-hitter: Four Astros pitchers combine to shut out Phillies in second Fall Classic no-no-never

The Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of the World Series on Wednesday night by a score of 5-0 to tie the series at 2-2, and they did it in historic fashion – the Houston starter Cristian Javier and three relievers combined for just the second no-hitter in World Series history.

Javier, the 25-year-old right-hander, worked the first six innings without allowing a hit. From there, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly threw the final three no-hitter frames to complete the offer. The combined effort is only the second no-hitter in World Series history and the first since Don Larsen’s perfect game for the Yankees in 1956. Additionally, it’s the first no-hitter in the playoffs of MLB since Roy Halladay’s for the Phillies against the Reds in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS.

Now, some takeaways from an unforgettable night in South Philly.

Javier was dominant

It wasn’t a no-hitter bid based on good fortune — Javier owned the Philadelphia roster in Game 4. In those six innings, he struck out nine, walked two and scouted 63 of his 97 throws for strikes. He caused 25 puffs and called strikes. He also did a great job of stifling contact from the start, as no Philadelphia batter had a batted ball with an expected batting average north of .100 until the sixth inning.

Javier relied heavily on his fastball in Game 4, as he threw the quadruple 72% of the time. This firmly established rocky terrain allowed Javier to unbalance the Phillies with well-timed sliders. The slider was by far Javier’s best swing-and-miss offer during Game 4, but it all worked.

This + Javier’s ALCS gem vs. Yankees = history

In Javier’s last playoff start, he tamed the Yankees by allowing zero runs on a hit in 5 1/3 innings. Unsurprisingly, this kind of relentless greed when it comes to allowing hits in back-to-back playoff starts has never been glimpsed before:

The Phillies nearly broke in the eighth

With two outs in the eighth, Philly’s Jean Segura jumped all over a Montero first-pitch fastball and nearly broke the Astros’ date with history. Here is an overview:

It was a well-hit understudy to say the least, but unfortunately for Segura and the Phillies, it was just Gold Glover Kyle Tucker on the right. It turns out that this shot quality – i.e. launch angle and exit speed (99 mph in Segura’s case) – is almost always a shot:

However, it wasn’t Wednesday night in Game 4. The Phillies’ second closest game to a hit? It would be a hard-hit Kyle Schwarber ground player in the third inning who just fouled out on the first base line. Schwarber struck out looking into the stick.

Coincidences abound

If you’re looking for several examples of symmetry suggesting some sort of grand design, you’ve come to the right place. First of all, know that in 2022 alone, this isn’t the first time Javier has anchored a no-hitter, nor is it the first time this year the Phillies have come off the wrong end of the game. ‘a combined no hit:

And who started for the Phillies when they were untouched during the regular season? That would be Aaron Nola, starting Game 4:

Thinking back to the Halladay no-hitter in 2010, that no-hitter’s site was Citizens Bank Park. The opposing manager in Halladay’s playoff no-hitter? That would be current Astros manager Dusty Baker.

It was a huge win for the Astros

That no-no came in Houston’s biggest game of the season to date. A loss would have downed them 3-1 in this best-of-seven series and historically only given them a 17.9% chance of coming back to win the series. Instead, Javier and company fired Houston to a 2-2 draw. That means it’s basically a best-of-three series now, and the Astros will host Game 6 and a potential Game 7. It’s a huge odds swing, and it reshaped the 2022 World Series.

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