The Houston Astros made World Series history as their pitchers combined for a no-hitter in a 5-0 win at Citizens Bank Park over the Philadelphia Phillies to square the seven-game series at 2-2.
|What||Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies; World Series, Game Five of Seven|
|Where||Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|When||00:03, Friday 4th November 2022|
|How to watch||BT Sport|
|Odds||HOU Astros 5/8; PHI Phillies 7/5|
Cristian Javier, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly produced the first combined no-hitter in the World Series in Game Four as Houston squared the series with a 5-0 win.
The group authored the first combined no-hitter since the 1956 Fall Classic, when Don Larsen threw a perfect game.
The only other postseason no-hitter was in 2010 in the National League Division Series by Roy Halladay for the Phillies against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park.
Speaking to MLB.com, Javier said: "We stayed focused, just came out motivated after (Tuesday’s) loss. We had positive energy in the clubhouse. We told ourselves that we would come in today to win.
"It’s funny, my parents told me I was going to throw a no-hitter, and thanks to God, I was able to accomplish that."
Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos said to MLB.com: "We just wanted baserunners to try to get something going. It’s not like we were actively hanging on trying no to be no-hit. We were still trying to win the game.
"We would have been happy if we would have walked and gotten hit-by-pitches and scored runs and won a game and not gotten a hit.
"All of our focus and attention was on the right thing, which was moving the line and doing whatever we could to get something going."
One thing for certain is that Houston will host Game Five at Minute Maid Park, although playing at home in the playoffs has not been to the Astros’ advantage in recent years.
The Phillies fans did have dreams of winning the World Series in Philadelphia I’m sure, like they did in 2008, but Houston managed to deny the Phillies on this occasion.
On the mound for the Astros will be veteran pitcher Justin Verlander. The 39-year-old has not had a great postseason and struggled in his last outing in game one of the series.
Verlander gave up five runs in five innings while blowing a 5-0 lead and boosting his World Series ERA to 6.07 over eight starts in his career.
Verlander was 18-4 over the regular season with an ERA of 1.75, which should bring home the American League Cy Young Award.
During the postseason, he has a 1-0 record and a 7.20 ERA, largely thanks to two poor starts against the Seattle Mariners and the Philadelphia Phillies. Is now the time for Verlander to shine in a World Series game?
Since he slipped on an Astros jersey, Verlander has won a World Series championship, earned his second AL Cy Young Award, threw his third career no-hitter, surpassed 3,000 strikeouts and was the 2017 ALCS Most Valuable Player.
What is missing is a World Series win as a pitcher, this is something he can rectify in Game five at Citizens Bank Park and try to give Houston a lead before going home.
Noah Syndergaard will pitch for the Phillies in Game Five rather than Zack Wheeler, who is on normal rest. This is a big decision for Rob Thomson.
However, the Phillies team manager has been adamant that Syndergaard will pitch. Wheeler’s velocity has been down and this has been described as fatigue, the Phillies are hoping that an extra day of rest will have Wheeler pitching Game Six.
Syndergaard will have the task of setting the tone in the final game at Citizens Bank Park this year. There is a chance he will only throw three innings, he hasn’t thrown any more than 35 pitches in any of his three outings this postseason (two relief appearances, one start).
Syndergaard’s last appearance came in Game Four of the National League Championship series when he pitched 1 and a third inning of scoreless relief. In his lone postseason start, he held the Atlanta Braves to one run over three innings in Game four of the NLCS.
Syndergaard was supposed to start Game Three of the World Series before Monday’s postponement.