The Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of the World Series Wednesday night by 5-0 until the series reached 2-2, and they did so in historic fashion — Houston star Christian Javier and three loyalists combined. Only the second no hitter in World Championship history.
Javier, 25, right-handed, worked the first six rounds without allowing a hit. From there, Brian Abreu, Rafael Monteiro and Ryan Presley pitched the last three tires without injury to complete the show. The combined effort is the second effort in World Championship history and the first since Don Larsen’s perfect match for the Yankees in 1956. In addition, it is the first non-competitive post-season MLB team since Roy Halladay for the Phillies against the Reds in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS.
Now for some quick bites from an unforgettable night out in South Philly.
Javier was in control
This wasn’t a case of a show that didn’t have success based on good luck – Javier owned Philly’s lineup in Game 4. In those six rounds, he scored nine, walked two, and caught 63 of his 97 strokes. Deals 25 whiffs in addition to named hits. He also did an excellent job of throttling the contact off the bat, as none of the hitter Philly managed to hit the ball with a projected average hit north of 0.100 until the sixth inning.
Javier leaned hard on a fastball in Game 4, throwing four leads 72 percent of the time. This well-established base pitch allowed Javier to keep Velez in balance with some well-timed skaters. The slider was Javier’s best swing and miss during Game 4, but everything worked.
This + ALCS gem for Javier vs. Yankees = history
In Javier’s final start in this post-season, he tamed the Yankees by allowing a zero-to-one-hit run in 5 1/3 innings. Not surprisingly, this kind of unrelenting stinginess when it comes to letting strikes into consecutive comma starts is unprecedented:
The Phillies almost broke him at eight
With two eighth-place wins, Philly’s Jean Segura jumped all over the fastball on the first pitch from Montero and nearly interrupted the Astros’ date with history. Here is a look:
That was a good streak to say the least, but unfortunately for Segura and Velez it was right on Gold Glover Kyle Tucker on the right. As it turns out, the quality of the hit — meaning the launch angle and exit speed (99 mph in the case of the Segura) — almost always works:
However, it wasn’t on Wednesday night in Game Four. That would be Kyle Schwarber’s knockout in the third inning who fouled on the first baseline. Schwarber lunged as he looked at the bat.
If you are looking for many examples of symmetry that suggest some kind of grand design, then you are in the right place. First, know that in 2022 alone, this isn’t the first time Javier has landed for a non-hitter, nor is it the first time this year that Velez has come out on the wrong side of a non-hitter:
And who started with the Phillies when they weren’t beaten during the regular season? This will be the 4 Aaron Nola game:
Looking back at the Halladay no-hitter in 2010, the location where the hitter didn’t make was Citizens Bank Park. The manager’s opponent in the playoffs in Halladay no hitter? That would be the current Astros manager, Dusty Becker.
It was a huge win for the Astros
This happened in the biggest game of Houston’s season so far. A loss would have put them 3-1 lower in this top-seven series and historically gave them only a 17.9 percent chance of returning to win the series. Instead, Javier & Company sacked Houston for a 2-2 draw. That means it’s basically a top three series now, and the Astros will host Game 6 and potentially a Game 7. That’s a big swing, and the 2022 World Championships have been reshaped.
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