The Houston Astros made World Series history on Wednesday night, throwing a combined no-hitter in a dominant 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Considering Philly’s home run barrage in Game 3, this was exceptionally impressive.
The series is now tied 2-2, and the Phillies have one more game at home before they have to head back to Houston, where the World Series will be decided.
Here are the best moments and takeaways from Game 4.
Game 4 takeaways
Don Larsen no longer owns the only no-hitter in World Series history.
The Astros combined to no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4, riding off of six dominant innings from Cristian Javier and a combined relief effort from Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly. The Phillies only managed two base runners in Bryce Harper and Brandon Marsh, who each walked off of Javier. Javier finished the night with six innings pitched while striking out nine batters, throwing 97 pitches and 63 for strikes, relying on the combination of a four-seam fastball and a slider.
Meanwhile, the Astros offense came alive after being shut out in Game 3. Houston scored all five runs without the long ball, with Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Yuli Gurriel all tallying RBIs. Phillies starter Aaron Nola looked strong through the first four innings, but made a handful of mistakes in the fifth, when Houston scored all of itsr runs. Nola ended the night with an unremarkable line, going four innings allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out four. — Joon Lee
The no-no by the numbers
This is the 19th combined no-hitter in MLB history, and the first in the playoffs, according to ESPN Stats and Information. The Astros had the last combined regular-season no-no on June 25 of this season against the New York Yankees — Javier also started that game. Going back to Game 3, they’ve now thrown 11 straight no-hit innings, tying the 1939 Yankees for the longest postseason streak ever.
The Phillies made some history of their own — this is the first time in MLB history that a team has hit five or more home runs in a single game and then were no-hit in the next one, in the regular season or playoffs.
Two of the three postseason no-hitters in MLB history have taken place at Citizens Bank Park. Dusty Baker was on the wrong side of Roy Halladay’s no-no in Game 1 of the NLDS as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
The Phillies had no answer against Houston Astros starter Cristian Javier, who no-hit Philadelphia during his six innings on the mound in Game 4. Javier finished the night after 97 pitches, striking out nine batters while walking two.
The World Series start marked the continuation of an incredible postseason for Javier, who entered the evening allowing just one run in 6 2/3 innings pitched across two appearances in the American League Division and Championship Series.
Javier primarily relied on his fastball and his slider throughout the evening, tossing his four-seamer 72 percent of the time and his slider 26 percent. The Phillies struggled to generate hard contact all night, with just two balls hit over 90 mph, both groundouts in the sixth by Brandon Marsh and Kyle Schwarber. The offensive struggles for Philadelphia contrasted dramatically with its performance in Game 3, when it scored seven runs on five homers.
To replace Javier, Astros manager Dusty Baker brought in Bryan Abreu, who continued the no-hit bid with a scoreless seventh inning by striking out the side. — Lee
Houston heats up
Phillies starter Aaron Nola held the Astros scoreless through four innings, but in the fifth inning, the dam broke.
Houston scored five runs in the fifth, taking a 5-0 lead with Astros starter Cristian Javier carrying a no-hitter through four innings.
The offensive onslaught started with a Chas McCormick single off of Nola followed by two more singles by Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and shortstop Jeremy Pena. With the bases loaded and no outs, Phillies manager Rob Thomson removed Nola from the game, bringing in lefty fireballing reliever Jose Alvarado.
But Alvarado immediately got off to a rough start, hitting Yordan Alvarez with a pitch, scoring McCormick to give Houston its first run of the night. Things only got worse from there for Philadelphia as Astros third baseman Alex Bregman knocked a double to right field, scoring Altuve and Pena and extending Houston’s lead to 3-0.
With both inherited runners scoring, Nola’s final pitching line was four innings pitched with three earned runs on seven hits, no walks and four strikeouts.
But the damage did not end with Bregman. Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker knocked a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Alvarez and moving Bregman to third base. Yuli Gurriel kept the offensive roll going, knocking a single into left field to score Bregman and extending Houston’s lead to 5-0. While Alvarado struck out Christian Vázquez and Aldemys Díaz to end the inning, the damage was done.