The game ended in a 2-2 tie, but the Braves used nine different pitchers to twirl a ten-inning no-hitter against the Astros on Sunday afternoon. Cody Martin got the start and struck out three over two innings of work.
The Braves scored once in the first inning on an A.J. Pierzynski RBI single. The Astros plated two in the seventh without a hit as pitcher Mauricio Cabrera loaded on two walks and a hit batsman. Runs then scored on consecutive ground outs to shortstop. The Braves tied it back up at two apiece in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Todd Cunningham.
The Astros were using a split squad, but the Braves faced the better squad which included Jose Altuve, Colby Rasmus, and Chris Carter.
All nine pitchers of record:
- Cody Martin: 2 IP, 2 BB, 3 K
- Jim Johnson: 1 IP
- Josh Outman: 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
- Brandon Cunniff: 1 IP
- Ian Thomas: 1 IP, 3 BB, 1 K
- Mauricio Cabrera: 1 IP, 2 ER, 2 BB
- Lucas Sims: 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
- Justin Jackson: 1 IP, 2 K
- Jairo Heredia: 1 IP, 1 K
- Total: 10 IP, 2 ER, 9 BB, 9 K
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: