The Astros no-hit the Phillies last night while tying the Fall Classic at two games apiece, which for Cubs fans means Hot Stove Season will be delayed by at least one day. Houston pitchers Cristian Javier, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero, and Ryan Pressly derailed Philadelphia with a 14-strikeout, three-walk performance. It was the first combined no-no in postseason history, a considerable accomplishment that still comes nowhere close to what Don Larsen did in 1956. Welcome to specialized, compartmental baseball.
Javier was also part of a combined no-hitter against the Yankees back in June, making him the first pitcher to start multiple combined no-hitters within a career, let alone the same season. I watched the game at Carson’s Ribs in Milwaukee, and to be honest, I enjoyed their award-winning cole slaw a lot more than I did the game. My double-baked potato was delicious too, and I highly recommend it. I have been asked to curtail fat in my diet, so I went with a New York strip, in case you’re curious. I’m usually a ribeye man.
Noah Syndergaard will be tasked with stopping Houston’s momentum as they play Game 5 in Philadelphia tonight. Justin Verlander will toe the slab for the visitors, and wouldn’t it be something if he entered the 6th inning with a hitless gem? I doubt he’d let Dusty Baker replace him with a reliever if that’s the case.
In the meantime, we’ll have to wait until at least Tuesday to start armchair-building the Cubs’ 2023 roster.
Cubs News & Notes
- Because the World Series will go at least six games, we are now one week away from the Willson Contreras free agency season. Unless he accepts his anticipated qualifying offer.
- This year’s QO is $19.65 million, in case you missed it.
- The Cubs are connected to most of the top players in Keith Law’s top 50 free agent list, including Contreras.
- Seth Lugo could be a nice under-the-radar acquisition to improve Chicago’s bullpen.
Odds & Sods
I see that Cubs fans are still celebrating the 2016 World Series like it’s happening in real time. Perhaps we should just make it a national holiday.
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) November 2, 2022
Postseason News & Notes
Javier was absolutely electric in last night’s game.
Javier said his parents predicted last night’s no-no.
Houston is a “uniquely homegrown” team.
Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a Texas furniture mogul known for placing huge bets on sports, has wagered about $10 million on the Astros to win the World Series. If Houston does win, he’ll earn almost $75 million — the largest payout on a legal sports bet ever in the US. “I have a high tolerance for risk,” Mack says.
Ol’ Mack also said the Phillies have “the worst fans in baseball” after a heated exchange went viral.
The Phillies are considering their powder blue throwback uniforms for tonight’s contest.
The Phillies hit five home runs in Game 3 of the World Series but failed to record a single hit in Game 4. That’s never happened in the postseason or the regular season.
Another cheating scandal? Spin rates are up and suspicions are high, according to Jayson Stark.
Baseball America handed out its end-of-season awards on Wednesday. Aaron Judge is the 2022 Player of the Year, and Julio Rodriguez earned top rookie honors. Their Minor League Player of the Year is shortstop Gunnar Henderson of the Orioles.
Back in my day, a no-hitter was something that was accomplished by a single pitcher. Just sayin’.
— MLB (@MLB) November 3, 2022
Thursday Morning Six-Pack
- Nobody won last night’s Powerball jackpot, so I have at least $30 million extra reasons to be greedy AF when I win on Saturday.
- Inflation is the new pandemic and American consumers continue to drop cash like they won last night’s drawing. In recent earnings reports, execs in industries spanning hospitality to transportation to banks said they saw no indication of consumers pulling back. McDonald’s is even planning to raise prices because people seem willing to pay.
- Things could be worse. The inflation rate jumped past 85% in Turkey, where the country’s central bank continues to cut its policy rate.
- Inflation is putting a tight squeeze on kids’ sports, already an expensive endeavor.
- In the biggest about-face in the NFL since Tom Brady decided to unretire, Dan Snyder has taken a big step toward selling the Washington Commanders. Keep an eye on Jeff Bezos.
- We haven’t made it to Turkey Day yet, but Starbucks holiday drinks go on sale today and will come in snazzy new cups. Also, Mariah Carey, the reigning Queen of Christmas, has been officially defrosted. SMH…it’s still baseball season, for the love of Mike.
They Said It
- “Once I got to the big leagues, I told Joe [Maddon] that he [would never] send me down to Triple-A because I’m going to own this spot. I know that I put the right work in. I put everything in to improve. I gave my team 110 percent every single day.” – Contreras
Thursday Walk-Up Song
I am already tired of being poked and probed by Ol’ Sawbones and I’ll be absent from this column tomorrow. That is unless Verlander throws a no-hitter tonight. Have a great weekend everyone.