2022 World Series: How Cristian Javier sparks Astros no-hitter with ‘electric’ Game 4 against Phillies

2022 World Series: How Cristian Javier sparks Astros no-hitter with ‘electric’ Game 4 against Phillies

PHILADELPHIA – The Houston Astros just made history by becoming the first team ever to throw a combined no-hitter in a playoff game. The only other no-hitter in World Series history was Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. If we include the entire playoffs, Roy Halladay’s first game of the 2010 NLDS no-hitter in this same ballpark is all that remains. There are now three no-hitters in the playoffs.

The Astros evened the series, 2-2, in the best-of-seven Fall Classic. They needed this one too.

It’s a bit of a joke in media circles to ask managers if it’s a “must win” game. In all likelihood, the Astros didn’t make it to Game 4 of the 2022 World Series — trailing 2-1 in the Phillies in a best-of-seven series — thinking it was a must-win game. But man, they sure needed it. Cutting three games to one with Game 5 being played in Philly would be a very bad idea.

No worries, starting pitcher Christian Xavier he said with his right hand.

The Phillies offense that came back from a 5-0 deficit to win Game 1 and hit five homers for seven runs in Game 3 was stifled from the start by Javier. He dominated. He went through his six innings without allowing a hit and only allowed two batters to reach base.

Final line: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K. He was removed after six innings on 97 pitches (Bryan Abreu, Raphael Montero and Ryan Pressly finished no-no), though it almost seemed like he barely broke a sweat as he expertly cut down his opponent.

Javier became the first pitcher in World Series history to go five hitless innings with nine strikeouts. It was the first hitless bid of at least six innings since Jerry Koosman flirted with a no-no in Game 2 of the 1969 World Series. Mets. Javier tied Koosman for the second-longest hitless bid in a World Series since Don Larsen’s perfect game, trailing only Jim Lonberg (7 2/3 innings, 1967 Game 2 for Red socks).

Javier did a good job of this as the Astros offense continued to struggle. Remember, they were shut out in Game 3. Through four innings in Game 4 on Wednesday night, it was 0-0. This means that Javier’s margin for error in the probably-should-win (not necessarily win!) game was razor thin. Any pressure he felt didn’t show.

He relied heavily on his mid-90s fastball, throwing it 70 times in his 97 pitches. Remember, the Phillies punished off-speed offerings for the light tower power display in Game 3. Javier mixed in his slider effectively, getting five swings and misses out of the eight times the Phillies swung at him.

He walked twice, but overall the key was hitting the strike zone and getting ahead in the count.

“The plan is going to be to continue hitting a lot and attacking the strike zone,” Javier said earlier this week when asked about his upcoming start. He executed the plan brilliantly.

He only gave up three hard-hit balls all night, and the Phillies really didn’t even flirt with his hitting. As stated, it was true dominance.

“He was electric,” manager Dusty Baker said afterward. “He threw the ball up, down, and it shows you that the best pitch in baseball is still a well-located fastball. He was calm, cool.”

Not that this should have been all that shocking. I know he only ranks as the Astros’ #4, but he was one of the better pitchers in the majors for a while.

Javier had the lowest batting average allowed in all of baseball over the past two seasons. On June 25, he pitched seven hitless innings against a hitter Yankeesby deleting 13 in part a differently combined no batsman. He allowed just one in his next outing Angels pitched in seven innings with 14 strikeouts. He finished the regular season with 23 scoreless innings over his last four starts, allowing just six hits over that stretch. He had a 1.79 ERA in the second half.

“Tonight he was very, very electric with the fastball,” catcher Christian Vázquez said. “I think it is and we always expect it. And I think it’s the best fastball in baseball right now.”

Remember, he was the Astros’ No. 4 starter in this series. It could be argued that it should be placed above Lance McCullersJr. — especially after Game 3 — but the point remains that this was a reminder of how deep the Astros are.

Now that they’ve avoided losing a game they probably should have won, the series is tied, 2-2, with Game 5 in Philadelphia before the Astros return home to Minute Maid Park for Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7. .

If they manage to clinch a World Series championship, Cristian Javier’s exit in Game 4 will serve as a turning point. If not, hey, he led his history-making team.

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