For the second time in history, the Astros combined staff no-hit the mighty New York Yankees, this time thanks to seven nearly perfect innings from Cristian Javier, a clutch hold despite bad umpire calls from Hector Neris, and a redemptive perfect inning save from closer Ryan Pressly.
Against the best-hitting team in baseball, facing their hostile crowd for the first time in his career, young Astros starter Cristian Javier mowed down the mighty Bronx Bombers like a Weed Whacker.
Seven scoreless innings, no hits, one walk (extremely questionable) 13 strikeouts.
The Pitching Ninja recorded all 13.
All 13 of Cristian Javier's strikeouts. pic.twitter.com/Rmpsz8rwyY— Houston Astros (@astros) June 25, 2022
Javier broke personal records for strikeouts and pitches thrown in a game. (115, 71 for strikes) His game score hit the rare air of 89.
Meanwhile, the Astros were no-hit by Yankees ace Gerrit Cole for four innings. But the Astros finally crossed the plate when the Astros’ newest rookie hit this solo shot to deep right field in the seventh inning.
J.J. Matejevic has two hits in the big leagues, both homers.
Deep in the heart of the jungle. pic.twitter.com/X1sQfa5Voo— Houston Astros (@astros) June 25, 2022
Love that bat flip rookie!
In the eighth inning, to the sound of appreciative cheers from the Bronx fans known for their outstanding sportsmanship, Jose Altuve added another run to the scoreboard with a second-deck solo shot
Keep that same energy. pic.twitter.com/PJP82IrVG3— Houston Astros (@astros) June 25, 2022
Oh yeah, yet another Altuve dagger into the heart of the Yankees. How sweet it is.
Thanks to a pinch-hit RBI single by Yuli Gurriel scoring Kyle Tucker, the Astros added a meaningless insurance run in the ninth.
Reliever Hector Neris had a rocky eighth inning following Javier, walking two batters, thanks in no small part to an amazing shrinking strike zone that suddenly appeared just for Neris. Still, he got Joey Gallo to fly out to the warning track, and an Aaron Judge smash line drive that was handled by Aledmys Diaz for the third out.
Working on the theory that when you fall off a horse you get right back on, Astros manager Dusty Baker put in Ryan Pressly to close out the game. Pressly was the goat (not greatest of all time) who spectacularly blew a three-run lead in the ninth to achieve the dubious distinction of single-handedly losing the opening game of the series.
Today Pressly was sharp, hitting 97 on the gun, and dispatching the Yanks three up, three down on 15 pitches, nine for strikes. He whiffed two, including the tough Anthony Rizzo. A routine grounder by Giancarlo Stanton to Alex Bregman cemented the no-hitter, as the Astros once again humiliated the Yankees, this time in their home stadium.
This series was supposed to be a statement series for the Yankees, who were primed to show the Astros that the torch of AL greatness had passed to its rightful owner.
In fact, if any statement has been made, it is the Astros hitting all the exclamation marks. Except for the ninth inning of Game One, the supposedly invincible Yankee offensive juggernaut has been ground to a halt. In the last two games, the Yanks have managed only one run and five hits.
The Yankees, it seems, still remain in the crippling thrall of the Astros’ Jedi mind game.
If there was a game in this series that looked like you could simply pencil in a win for the Yankees, it was this game featuring former Astro great Gerrit Cole. He was great, but league-minimum youngster Javier was even better.
Framber Valdez and Kyle Tucker yesterday, Cristian Javier and J.J. Matejevic today, a new generation of Astros is writing the latest chapter of Astros domination of the storied New York Yankees.
See you tomorrow, 12:35 CT.