Down 2-1 in the best-of-seven World Series, the Houston Astros needed their Game 4 starter Cristian Javier to have a quality start against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
He provided much more than that.
Javier was throwing a no-hitter through six innings, with his only baserunners being two walks to Bryce Harper and Brandon Marsh.
With Javier cruising, though, manager Dusty Baker summon Bryan Abreu from his bullpen to pitch the bottom of the seventh inning despite his young right-hander nine outs away from history.
New York Yankees hurler Don Larsen threw a perfect game against the then-Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, which is the only time in history a team didn’t get a hit in a World Series game.
To add on to that, the late Roy Halladay is the only other pitcher to toss a no-hitter in postseason history, doing it for the Phillies against the Cincinnati Reds during the 2010 NLDS.
Still, with the Astros owning a 5-0 lead thanks to an onslaught of offense in the top of the sixth inning, Baker decided it was time to call Javier out of the game.
Javier was at 97 pitches when he left the game with history on the line, though his bullpen kept it going. Abreu would strike out the side in the bottom of the seventh.
Javier has been stellar for the Astros all year, owning a 2.54 ERA in 30 games (25 starts) during the regular season while pitching to a 0.71 ERA in three games (two starts) now.
Both of his starts have come in hostile environments as well, with Javier pitching against the New York Yankees in the ALCS, where he gave up just one hit over 5.1 innings with five strikeouts and three walks.
In fact, Javier led the Astros to a combined no-hitter against the Yankees during the regular season, racking up 13 strikeouts in his seven innings which led to a celebration at Yankee Stadium by the road team.
Javier’s solid start also comes a night after the Phillies hit Lance McCullers Jr. hard, launching five home runs for seven runs.