On June 11, 2003, the Houston Astros managed to no-hit the eventual AL champion New York Yankees despite starter Roy Oswalt being removed from the game in the first inning. Cristian Javier did everything he could to replicate that showing on a sweltering Saturday afternoon in the Bronx.
Javier absolutely tore through the Yankees, striking out 13 batters in seven hitless innings. Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly came in to finish the job, consigning this game to the annals of Astros history and New York’s hypothetical hall of infamy.
The Astros polished off a no-hitter in their 3-0 victory on Saturday by getting Giancarlo Stanton out in the ninth inning. After losing in the series opener thanks to a jaw-dropping comeback, Javier and Justin Verlander surrendered just one run combined. A brilliant one-run, seven-inning outing by Gerrit Cole was wasted.
Getting no-hit is one of the most embarrassing things a team can do to themselves on any given day, but getting no-hit by the rival Astros at a time when the two are vying for supremacy of the American League is going to leave a big wound that won’t be stitched up until the squad beats their Texas-based foes convincingly.
Cristian Javier’s Houston Astros no-hit the New York Yankees.
For some reason, the Astros seem to have a weird penchant for blanking the Yankees in the Bronx. The last player to no-hit the Yankees who was not an Astro was Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm in 1958. Tigers pitcher Virgil Trucks, in 1952, was the last non-Houston pitcher to no-hit the Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium.
The closest the Yankees came to blowing this game open and ending the no-hitter came on a Joey Gallo fly ball in the eighth inning. However, Gallo uppercut the ball by just a hair too steep of an angle, and the resulting flyout to Kyle Tucker helped quell the Yankee attack.
The Yankees made some solid contact, but Javier was dodging bats for too long. Aaron Boone penciled in a lineup in which DJ LeMahieu and Isiah Kiner-Falefa were the only regular starters on the bench, so New York can’t claim to have lost thanks to bad managerial decisions. They didn’t show up, plain and simple.
The Yankees have hit the skids against the Astros. A Stanton home run was their lone run over the last two days, and they only avoided a three-game home losing streak thanks to an improbable three-run comeback. Sunday will be pivotal if they want some momentum to head into the Oakland series.