The Houston Astros snapped up Cristian Javier for just $10,000 on the international free agent market in April 2015, getting a right-hander with a long list of unanswered questions about his stuff.
After spending five seasons in the Minor Leagues with an arsenal limited to a four-seam fastball and the slider, the future of the Dominican pitcher seemed to be that of a long-term reliever, a role in which he had just begun to be used in his first tests in Majors between 2020 and 2021.
After seven years of making the leap to the professionalism of the sport, the questions that accompanied him in his early years seem to have disappeared, who has embodied the body of a solid starter in the Astros’ walk this 2022, despite facing batters who know in advance what pitches they will swing against … and regularly end up dominated.
Javier’s fascinating story of overcoming and perseverance has been summed up in two great moments that in the same season took his name to the record books.
The most recent of these occurred last Wednesday in the fourth game of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies, after being the protagonist of a game without hits or combined runs after having pitched for space of six innings and prescribed nine strikeouts in its opening.
The 25-year-old native of Santo Domingo had experienced a similar scene in the regular season, specifically on July 25, when he took on the role of lead actor in a joint “no-no” of the sidereal pitching against the Yankees of New York.
These two episodes make Javier a unicorn in history, becoming the only pitcher to have been the first baseman of multiple combined no-hitters in his career.
From the signing with a “dead cow” bonus, the doubts of a repertoire of two pitches and several no-hitters that summarize his consecration… Cristian Javier has earned it hard!
The Dominican became the first pitcher in history with more than six innings without allowing hits and prescribe at least nine strikeouts in the World Series.
IN THE POSTSEASON
The Astros’ “no-no” was the third such game in a playoff series, joining Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 “Fall Classic” and Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in the Series. National League Divisional in 2010.