Drew Smyly went 21 up, 21 down on Friday, hunting the 22nd perfect game of the World Series era and the first since Felix Hernandez in 2012. Smyly went on to lose the perfect game in heartbreaking fashion.
Smyly’s brush with history got us thinking:
What history do the Astros have with perfect games?
Have they ever thrown one? Have they been on the wrong end of one? If they haven’t, what have been their closest calls?
The Astros were on the wrong end of Matt Cain’s perfect game on June 13, 2012. Cain’s was the 20th perfect game of the World Series era. He needed 125 pitches to complete the perfect game, and struck out 14 Astros on his way to doing so.
The Astros narrowly avoided a second perfect game thrown against them less than a year later, when Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers was perfect through 26 batters. Marwin Gonzalez broke up the near perfect game with a clean single as the 27th hitter, the 11th time a perfect game has been broken up on the last out. Like Cain’s dominant outing, Darvish also struck out 14.
While Houston has been on the wrong end of a perfect game, they’ve never thrown one. They do have 15 no-hitters to their name, including some of the most memorable in big-league history.
Just last season, Cristian Javier started two combined no-hitters. His first was the first no-hitter in the new Yankee Stadium, and was only the second time the Yankees have been no-hit.
The first time the Yankees were no-hit also came at the hands (six to be exact) of the Astros. Roy Oswalt started against the Yankees on June 11, 2003, but left the game after suffering an injury in the second inning.
Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner came on in relief for a six-pitcher no-hitter, most in big league history.
Javier’s second no-no last season came in Game 4 of the World Series. It was only the 3rd postseason no-hitter in big league history and the second in World Series history.
It was the biggest no-hitter in franchise history, topping Mike Scott’s on September 25, 1986 to clinch the NL West title on the last day of the regular season.
Other notable no-nos in franchise history include Justin Verlander’s third career no-hitter at Toronto, Nolan Ryan’s fifth of seven career no-hitters and Ken Johnson’s on April 23, 1964. Johnson’s is notable as he is the only pitcher in big league history to throw a complete game no-hitter and lose, as the Reds came out on top 1-0.