Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker pulled starting pitcher Cristian Javier in the middle of a postseason no-hitter in World Series Game 3.
Were this a few decades ago, perhaps Cristian Javier would have gotten a chance to make postseason history. But that’s not the case, and the Astros care far more about team success and player safety to ask Javier to take on that risk.
After 97 pitches on Wednesday night, Javier was pulled in favor of the Houston bullpen. The Astros held a 5-0 lead at the time — the same advantage they relinquish in Game 1.
But Baker didn’t want to take that risk this time, instead giving his bullpen a clean inning in the seventh, in hopes of securing a tough Game 4 victory in Philadelphia.
Astros: Why did Dusty Baker pull Cristian Javier?
Dusty Baker pulled out Cristian Javier short of 100 pitches. Sure, old heads may not understand, but if any manager would keep Javier in the game, Baker would understand.
Baker played during that era. He understood its flaws, and it’s part of what makes him a great manager in the modern game.
Houston still had a chance to secure baseball history. A World Series no-hitter hasn’t been accomplished since Don Larsen in 1956. It’s a rarity on the sport’s greatest stage, and for good reason.
The Astros are far more concerned with winning a game or two at Citizens Bank Park, a place the Phillies haven’t lost all postseason. In doing so, they would secure a visit back home to Houston and Minute Maid Park’s comfortable setting. With Games 6 and 7 at home, the Astros would have to feel far better about their chances to win the World Series — their first since *2017’s sign-stealing scandal.
Javier’s accomplishment on Wednesday night should not go unnoticed. But considering the availability of Houston’s bullpen, Baker made the right choice.