Wednesday night was highlighted by game four of the 2022 World Series between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies. A day after the Phillies’ bats went wild to take a 2-1 lead, the Astros pitching stepped up and split the series behind a historic no-hitter. Here is a look at how it happened and the history they made.
This was one unstoppable force going up against an immovable object.
Coming into this game the Phillies when playing at home in the playoffs were 6-0. During those six games, they outhit opponents 54-35 and outscored opponents 42-15. There was nothing opposing pitchers could do to slow this offense down.
This unstoppable force had to go up against Astros starter Cristian Javier. During the regular season, he had a 2.54 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 194 strikeouts. Most notably about Javier, on June 25 against the New York Yankees, he went seven no-hit innings in what became a combined no-hitter.
In his first start of the World Series, it was clear Javier was bursting with confidence as each pitch seemed untouchable. Aside from walks to Bryce Harper and Brandon Marsh, it seemed almost too easy for Javier. Through his six innings, he struck out nine including a stretch of five straight from the fourth to fifth innings.
This type of success is not new to Javier. As already mentioned he started a combined no-hitter in June, but he also had 11 outings of six-plus innings and five with nine or more strikeouts.
After racking up 97 pitches it was time for the bullpen to take over. The first reliever to enter was Bryan Abreu who faced three batters and struck out all three on just 15 pitches. It was the definition of a shutdown inning.
In the eighth, they brought in Rafael Montero who needed only 10 pitches to retire his three batters in order.
Finally, with three outs to get, they brought in the spectacular Ryan Pressly. He got the final three outs in the no-hitter against the Yankees and he was asked to do it again. He walked Kyle Schwarber with one out, but it did not matter much as he quickly retired Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto to close out the no-hitter.
Incredibly these Astros pitchers averaged just under 16 pitches per inning. This stat is a testament to how dominant each pitcher was in their ability to make these excellent hitters completely uncomfortable.
There is plenty of history to unpack with this momentous event.
The Astros became only the third team to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs. The last team to do it was the Phillies in 2010 when the amazing Roy Halladay did it against the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS.
They are now the second team ever to complete this feat in the World Series. The team they joined was the Yankees in 1956 when Don Larsen threw a perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
What sets them apart from the other two is that they are the first team to throw a combined no-hitter.
The Astros had an extraordinary regular season with their pure dominance leading them to 106 wins. That has rolled over into the playoffs and they shut down any doubts about their abilities in the World Series with a combined no-hitter. The series is tied at two as they head into game five of the series which will be crucial to see how could claim the title in game six. Houston aims to keep rolling while the Phillies aim to get back to their success at home.
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