Hammered the night before, Cristian Javier and the Houston Astros desperately needed to figure how to keep Bryce Harper and the Phillies in the ballpark. How about a no-hitter, would that do? Javier and Houston's bullpen combined on just the second no-hitter in World Series history, silencing a booming lineup and boisterous fans as the Astros blanked the Phillies 5-0 Wednesday night to even the matchup at two games each, the AP reports. "You get slapped in the face yesterday and you want to come back today and make a statement," closer Ryan Pressly said. The only previous no-hitter in the World Series was a perfect game by Don Larsen of the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.
Javier and three relievers weren't perfect in Game 4, but they were close. Plus, they'd done this before: Javier, the starter in a combined no-hitter against the New York Yankees in June, was pulled with a no-hitter in progress after six innings and 97 pitches this time. Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero, and Pressly each followed with a hitless inning for the first combined no-hitter in postseason play. They totaled 14 strikeouts in ensuring this year’s championship will be decided this weekend back at Minute Maid Park. Soon after JT Realmuto weakly grounded out to end it, the quartet of pitchers posed with catcher Christian Vázquez near the visiting dugout, each putting a hand on the game ball for a photo.
It's a picture no one could've envisioned 24 hours earlier, when Philadelphia clubbed a Series record-tying five home runs in a 7-0 romp in Game 3. "That’s crazy, man," Vázquez said. "It was special." The four pitchers and Vázquez also signed a ball headed to the Hall of Fame. Javier said his parents predicted Tuesday night he was going to throw a no-hitter. The 25-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic said his father, Cecilio Javier, arrived in the United States on Tuesday, and this was the first time his dad saw him pitch. The closest the Phillies came to a hit was in the third inning, when Kyle Schwarber grounded a hard foul past first base. On fair balls, nothing. "It’s cool," Schwarber said, sarcastically. "We’ll be in the history books I guess." Game 5 is on Thursday night in Philly.
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