It took three pitchers, 150 innings and 15 strikeouts, but the Houston Astros beat the Houston Astros without a hitter at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, beating the best team in baseball 3-0.
Christian Javier started Houston’s cause by dominating the Yankees for seven innings. He struck out 13 batters and his only faults were a walk in the first inning and a batter reaching first base on a mistake in the seventh. But with Javier at 115 pitches, Astros manager Dusty Baker ditched the starter in favor of right-hander Hector Neris.
Nerys and Ryan Pressley finished the job by throwing two more unsuccessful innings, allowing two base runners to walk. The scene was reminiscent of the last no-hitter game against the Yankees, in which six Astros pitchers worked together accomplish the feat on June 11, 2003. This game was also played at Yankee Stadium.
“Doing it in New York is the best feeling in the world,” Pressley told reporters shortly after the game.
The Astros’ two combined no-hitters, just over 19 years apart, are the only no-hitters against the Yankees since Hoyt Wilhelm. threw one against them as a member of the Baltimore Orioles in September. 20, 1958. In a total of 120 seasons, the Yankees have only missed a goal seven times, despite playing over 18,500 games.
25-year-old Javier started his third season strongly. With Saturday’s win, he improved his record to 5-3 and dropped his earned average to 2.73. Despite failing to complete the game without a hitter on Saturday, he set career records for innings and strikeouts as well as innings.
However, this effort visibly wore him down, as he was exhausted by the time the seventh inning was over.
“I feel very happy, very proud of this moment that God gave me,” Javier told reporters through a translator.
Neris, 33, was the first out of the bullpen and allowed a couple of walks. But he finished his half well, forcing Aaron Judge, the leading nominee for this year’s AL’s Most Valuable Player award, into the short lineup.
Pressley, 33, who allowed Aaron Hicks to tie three runs with Aaron Hicks in a 7-6 loss on Thursday, was electrified in ninth place. He struck out the first two batters he faced – Anthony Rizzo and Josh Donaldson – and forced Giancarlo Stanton to go to third to end the game.
Facing Gerrit Cole, who was almost as dominant as Javier, Houston didn’t score until the seventh inning when JJ Matievich, a rookie first baseman, hit his second major league home run. José Altuve scored in the eighth round against Michael King and Julius Gurriel, who entered the game as Matijevic’s striker, added a high-scoring single from Lukas Lutge in the ninth.
As a result, Cole suffered a loss despite allowing only four hits and one run in seven innings. He struck out eight.