Astros no-hitter vs. Yankees: Three Houston pitchers combine for 14th no-no in franchise history

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Three Houston Astros pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter against the Yankees on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Starting pitcher Cristian Javier went seven hit-less innings before turning things over to the bullpen in a 3-0 win. It's the 14th no-no in franchise history.

Javier was tasked Saturday with his first career start in Yankee Stadium -- and in doing so, he'd be facing the team with the best record in baseball and his counterpart was highly-compensated Yankees ace -- and former Astro -- Gerrit Cole. Javier stepped up with a major way with the best start of his career. 

The Astros needed every bit of Javier's work, too, as they held a 2-0 lead. They got a solo home run from J.J. Matijevic in the top of the seventh inning and Jose Altuve provided insurance with a solo blast in the eighth. 

Reliever Hector Neris took over for Javier in the eighth inning, looking to help complete a combined no-hitter. Though he walked two, got Joey Gallo on a warning-track fly and Aaron Judge on a very hard hit liner, initially dropped by the shortstop who recovered in time to get the out at second, the no-hitter remained intact. 

Anthony Rizzo, Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton were due up for the Yankees in the ninth and closer Ryan Pressly took care of business. 

The Astros' most recent no-hitter before Saturday came on Sept. 1, 2019 when Justin Verlander pulled it off. Their last combined no-hitter came on Aug. 3, 2019 from Aaron Sanchez, Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski. 

Coincidentally, the last time the Yankees were no-hit was also by the Astros and it was also a combined no-no. It was June 11, 2003 when Roy Oswalt left with an injury in the second and Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner brought it home. 

Javier wasn't perfect, as he allowed a first-inning walk and then Donaldson reached via error in the seventh. He had 13 strikeouts, which is a career high. He threw 115 pitches. His previous high in pitches was 93 and that was his last outing. He was probably OK to extend himself a bit past that mark, but once it gets 15-20 pitches higher, he'd be facing arm fatigue and it looked like he started to lose some command late in the seventh. 

"I was looking up there and was like 'oh man, his pitch count is gonna get too high," Astros manager Dusty Baker said after the game of his decision to pull Javier (via MLB.com). "I gotta make a decision pretty soon between the personal and maybe him suffering for it.

"I'm just glad the rest of our guys closed it out." 

This outing matches his career high in innings for Javier. He previously went seven innings twice (most recently May 13 of last season). His career high in pitches in one game was 107, which happened April 27 of last season. 

Javier seemed to be deceiving the Yankees hitters somehow, whether it was his release point or better disguising his pitches than usual. He was getting them to swing and miss on pitches they have been hitting most of the season. It was impressive work to watch him slice them up with four-seamers right in the zone while also working the corners with such precision. 

"He had his fastball working, locating it well, in-out-up-down, threw some outstanding off-speed pitches," Baker said. "Boy, he was matching Gerrit Cole inning for inning." 

Javier is now 5-3 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.05 WHIP on the season. 

The Yankees stormed back on Thursday with a four-run ninth to win in walk-off fashion, but otherwise the Astros have pretty well controlled the entire series. They've won two of three so far with the finale coming Sunday. 

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June 25, 2022, 9:39 PM
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June 25, 2022, 8:37 PM
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June 25, 2022, 8:36 PM
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Donaldson strikes out on a check swing attempt, but the home plate umpire called swing without checking with the 1st base umpire. One out to go

June 25, 2022, 8:21 PM
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Rizzo strikes out. Two outs away. 

June 25, 2022, 8:18 PM
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Pressly comes in to complete the no-hitter

Astros closer Ryan Pressly takes the ball for the ninth. He remains a very good closer, but he's been much shakier this season than in years past. He'll get 2-4 of the Yankees order in Anthony Rizzo, Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton. Not having to deal with Aaron Judge is a nice step in the right direction. 

June 25, 2022, 8:15 PM
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long inning here from the Astros in the top of the ninth, but it's not a starter with the no-hitter anymore so I don't think it really matters

June 25, 2022, 8:06 PM
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Judge hits it hard, but right at the shortstop. The Astros are three outs away from a combined no-hitter.

June 25, 2022, 7:55 PM
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Gallo misses a three-run HR by a few feet, flies out to the warning track. It's up to Aaron Judge, who would be the AL MVP to this point in the season. High drama. 

June 25, 2022, 7:54 PM
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another walk, this time after two extremely close misses (well, one of them should have been a strike, it was plain as day and even the Yankees broadcast said it was a bad call). So now there are two runners on base or Joey Gallo. 

June 25, 2022, 7:52 PM
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Carpenter flies out, kind of deep, and now it's DJ LeMahieu as a pinch hitter. Five outs away from a no-hitter

June 25, 2022, 7:49 PM
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leadoff walk to Aaron Hicks and here comes Matt Carpenter as a pinch hitter. He's been very homer-heavy this season

June 25, 2022, 7:45 PM
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Neris takes over

The Astros have removed Cristian Javier from a no-hitter after seven innings and 115 pitches. Reliever Hector Neris takes over. The Astros' last combined no-hitter came on Aug. 3, 2019 with Aaron Sanchez, Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski getting the job done.

June 25, 2022, 7:44 PM
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Javier likely done

Through a career-high 115 pitches and seven innings, Cristian Javier has been amazing. He's struck out 13 and hasn't given up a hit. Given the size of the hug Dusty Baker gave him as he hit the dugout after the seventh, it looks like the bullpen will be looking to complete a combined no-hitter.

Meanwhile, Jose Altuve just homered to make it 2-0 Astros

June 25, 2022, 7:35 PM