Saturday, June 25, 2022

Astros Pitchers Combine For No-Hitter Over Yankees, Sounds Familiar


The three pitchers (Ryan Pressly, Hector Neris, and Cristian Javier) surround catcher Martin Maldonado (second from left). @Astros.

A trio of  Houston Astros pitchers - starter Cristian Javier and relievers Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly -  no-hit the Yankees on Saturday afternoon, as they won 3-0, the second straight win for Houston at Yankee Stadium.

Javier went seven innings, with 13 strikeouts, and he retired 21 of the 23 hitters he faced, allowing just two runners to get on base, as he walked Josh Donaldson in the first, and Donaldson then reached again in the seventh on an error by third baseman Alex Bregman. He earned the win to improve to 5-3 on the season, and lower his ERA (earned run average) to 2.73.

Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole kept pace with him until the seventh when J.J. Matijevic hit a solo home run to break the tie and make it 1-0 Houston at the time. That broke a 21-inning scoreless inning streak at home that began with the seventh inning on May 23 against Baltimore up until the sixth inning in this one. Cole left after the seventh inning, as he allowed just that run on four hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts, as his record fell to 6-2.

Hector Neris was first out of the bullpen for Houston in the eighth, and he worked around a pair of walks to Aaron Hicks to open the inning, and DJ LeMahieu (who pinch-hit for Marwin Gonzalez) with one out. Neris then got Joey Gallo to fly out to deep center field, and Aaron Judge to line into a force out to shortstop Aledmys Diaz.

Ryan Pressly, who gave up the three-run game-tying home run to Hicks in Thursday night's 7-6 Yankees win, came on for the ninth seeking redemption, and he got it. He struck out Anthony Rizzo and Donaldson before Giancarlo Stanton grounded out to Bregman to end it, and he earned his 15th save of the season.

This is the first time the Yankees have been no-hit since six Houston Astros pitchers combined for one on June 11, 2003 - Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel, and Billy Wagner. It is interesting to think that Houston was still a National League team then, and the year before they lured Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte over from the Yankees, and they led them to the 2005 World Series, representing the N.L. against the Chicago White Sox, who swept them.

Incredibly, aside from this pair of Houston Astros' combined no-hitters, the Yankees have not been no-hit since Hoyt Wilhelm of the Baltimore Orioles no-hit them on September 20, 1958 at Memorial Stadium. The last no-hitter at the original Yankee Stadium was by Virgil Trucks of the Detroit Tigers on August 25, 1952. 

Other no-hitters against the Yankees include: Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians on April 30, 1946 at Yankee Stadium; Cleveland's Ray Caldwell in the first game of a doubleheader on September 10, 1919 at the Polo Grounds; Rube Foster of the Boston Red Sox on June 21, 1916 at Fenway Park: and Boston's Cy Young on June 30, 1908 at Hilltop Park.

This was the sixth time the Yankees have been no-hit in a nine-inning game at home (this was the first at the current Yankee Stadium, three at the original Yankee Stadium, one at the Polo Grounds, and one at Hilltop Park.

The Yankees were also held hitless by Melido Perez of the Chicago White Sox (he would later be a Yankee) in six innings on July 12, 1990 at the original Yankee Stadium in a rain-shortened game, and, ironically, the White Sox's Ed Walsh in five innings on May 26, 1907 at South Side Park in another rain-shortened game.

For the Houston Astros, this was their 14th no-hitter, and third combined no-hitter. Their last instance of each occurred in the 2019 season, as Justin Verlander no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays on September 1, 2019 at Toronto, and there was a combined no-hitter by Aaron Sanchez, Will Harris, Joe Biagini, and Chris Devenski on August 3, 2019 against the Seattle Mariners in Houston. 

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