World Series: Javier, 2nd Field Astros in WS undefeated


Beaten the night before, Cristian Javier and the Houston Astros desperately need to find a way to keep Bryce Harper and the Phillies on the field.

How about a person who doesn’t get hit, that will do?

Javier and Houston’s side combined for the second goal in World Series history, silencing an explosive roster and raging fans as the Astros beat the Phillies 5-0 on Wednesday night, even whole match two games each.

The only previous miss in the World Series was a perfect match by Don Larsen of the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.

Javier and the three painkillers aren’t perfect, but they’re very close. Plus, they’ve done this before: Javier, who started on an off target with the New York Yankees in June, was unsuccessfully pulled after 97 pitches this time around.

Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly then each had an unsuccessful round, ensuring this year’s championship will be decided this weekend at Minute Maid Park.

The quartet of pitchers posed with catcher Christian Vázquez near the away team moments after the game, each placing a hand on the game ball for a photo. It was an image that no one could have imagined 24 hours earlier, when the Philadelphia club set a Series record with 5 home runs with a 7-0 score in Game 3.

“It’s crazy, man,” said Vázquez, “It’s special.”

Javier said his parents predicted Tuesday night that he would throw a ball that didn’t hit the target.

“I just hang on to God, try to be positive, try to hit the strike zone,” he said through a translator.

Game 5 takes place on Thursday night in Philly. Astros ace Justin Verlander will once again chase that elusive first World Series win as he faces Noah Syndergaard.

They can only hope to play as well as Javier.

By the time the 25-year-old from the Dominican Republic exited, the only Philadelphia hitmaker to appear on the scoreboard was rocker Bruce Springsteen, surrounded by Phillies fans.

And a few innings later, as fans began to leave Citizens Bank Park, there were indeed boos for post-season stars, Harper and the Phillies. First Lady Jill Biden, a popular Phillies fan, was among the 45,693 who had little to shout about.

“For me? I mean, a loss is a loss,” said Rob Thomson, the Phillies manager. “That’s how I see it.”

Alex Bregman made the shot Houston desperately needed, a double-double in the fifth inning, and that was too much for the Astros.

Completely in charge, Javier hit nine, went two and barely let any noisy collisions occur. He has tamed a club that has gone 6-0 at home this season while hitting 17 home runs.

Opponents hit just 0.170 games against Javier in the regular season, the lowest performance in baseball among pitchers with at least 130 innings.

Still very peaceful on the mound, Javier has created his own quiet spot amid the Phillies storm. Back on the pitch, straightening his hat, rubbing the ball, breathing deeply, he proceeds at his own pace.

Next year, Javier won’t be able to work this way. Major League Baseball is setting the pitching clock – 15 seconds to pitch with empty bases, 20 with someone – and Javier has often surpassed those limits this evening, drawing boos from a crowd eager to take action.

Anyhow, it worked from the start.

When Javier drew the Phillies in the first three innings, it was no small feat. Not a single pitcher has managed to do that in post-season on this bouncy field.

In Javier’s final start, he knocked out the Yankees with a hit in five thirds in the Bronx in the AL Championship Series.

Javier’s performance comes a year after Atlanta’s Ian Anderson was disqualified after throwing five innings without a win against Houston.

The last time the Phillies hit it was in the third inning, when Kyle Schwarber grossly fouled past the first base. On the fair ball, nothing.

“That’s great,” said Schwarber, sarcastically. “I guess we’ll be in the history books.”

Philadelphia was untouched by the New York Mets’ five pitchers in April, one of a series of heavy losses that led to coach Joe Girardi’s firing two months later.

“We came back the next day and won,” said Thomson, then the bench coach. “So these people, they have a short memory.”

Maybe it was the team’s switch to orange jerseys, or the lucky lunch manager Dusty Baker was at a Philly hoagie spot, but the Astros certainly looked different than they did the night before, when they were eliminated with five weak singles.

Drums for 16 innings, Bregman and the Astros showed their mettle after the season when they overcame Aaron Nola in the fifth round, creating an attacking opportunity by not trying to do too much at the plate.

Singles by Chas McCormick, Altuve and Jeremy Peña loaded the bases and ended Nola. Relief pitcher José Alvarado beat Yordan Alvarez with his first pitch, forcing in one run, and then Bregman stacked a 100 mph hearth the other way for a double. two runs.

Kyle Tucker followed with a sacrificial fly and Yuli Gurriel added an RBI single, and so on, for the fourth game in a row, a team led 5-0.

Houston’s hits also resonated far and wide.

The lyrics “Let’s go, Astros!” broke out when highlights and scores were shown at the Toyota Center when the Houston Rockets hosted the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA game.

And it can be seen that the Astros will be cheering at NRG Stadium in Houston on Thursday night as the Texans take on the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL’s only undefeated team, in a game that will run at the same time as Game 5.

It was quiet in Philly, however, as fans who came to see the win were reduced to merely hoping for a hit.


Astros: Verlander is 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA in the eight starting world games after failing to hold a five-round lead in the opening game. Verlander is likely to win his third Cy Young Award later this month, but his struggles in the Fall Classic are puzzling. Then again, Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Seaver lost their Fall Classic record despite generally good pitching, and Don Sutton was hit hard. And Cooperstown members Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina were under 500 points in the post-season.

Phillies: RHP Noah Syndergaard was set to start Game 3 before it washed away Monday night. He has thrown three times this season – including a three-inning start against Atlanta – and allowed one run in five innings. His last official start was October 1.

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