It was deja vu all over again for Yankees fans. Cristian Javier took the ball, absolutely dominated, turned the ball over to the bullpen, and by the end of it, Ryan Pressly was finishing off a combined no-hitter in a humiliating loss for the home team. The only difference was this one came not on a hot June Sunday, but in Game 4 of the World Series.
Oh, and I had to recap both of them.
World Series Game 4
(Series tied 2-2)
Cristian Javier is one of those pitchers that I just really enjoy watching, even when he’s throwing a no hitter against the Yankees. He has a pretty typical fastball-slider combo, the type we’ve seen the Astros churn out like an assembly line over the past four or five seasons, but his hammer curve is a real weapon as well and one I think he should throw more often.
Of course, he only threw it twice last night, with nine strikeouts against two walks and no hits allowed, so what do I know about pitching? He threw strikes on two-thirds of his pitches, flummoxing a lineup that’s looked alternatively dominant and sleepy in this series.
Javier was taken out after six innings, only to see Bryan Abreu strike out the side on 15 pitches. Next up, Rafael Montero had his inning, three up three down although only one via the strikeout. Rhys Hoskins managed a walk in the ninth inning, leaving JT Realmuto as the last hope for the Phils:
For the Phillies’ part, they held the Astros off the scoreboard in eight of the nine innings, with Houston pounding out five runs in the fifth. With the bases loaded, José Alvarado hit Yordan Alvarez to bring in the game’s first run, and Alex “Ric Flair” Bregman made the Phillies pay for a mistake like that:
Kyle Tucker followed up with a sac fly, before Yuli Gurriel capped off the inning with an RBI single:
This is a deflating loss for the Phillies, but the series is just 2-2. Going back to Houston isn’t what they wanted, but they’ve already shown they can win at Minute Maid Park and they’ll have to do it at least one more time to bring a championship back to Philadelphia. Going back to Houston up 3-2 would help that cause a lot, and Game 5 will see Justin Verlander get the ball against Noah Syndergaard, with first pitch at 8:03 p.m. Eastern.