We haven’t been posting about the Japan Series because, well, it’s not really holding any of our interests. The idea is great in theory of course, but it’s just some exhibition games and they’re airing at, like, 4am and even irredeemable morning people like me are having a hard time focusing. We’d probably kill for this sort of thing in January, but right now it’s just hard to focus on it.
But something notable did happen in the this morning’s Game 3: four pitchers from team Japan combined to no-hit the MLB All-Stars.
The pitchers were Takahiro Norimoto, Yuki Nishi, Kazuhisa Makita and Yuji Nishino. The MLB lineup contained six All-Stars including American League batting champ Jose Altuve and NL batting champ Justin Morneau. Robinson Cano was in the game for a time too, but he left after being hit by a pitch in the foot. He’s off for X-Rays now. If we hear anything on that we’ll let you know.
This is not the first no-hitter in Japan Series history. In 1990 Chuck Finley and Randy Johnson combined to no-hit the Japanese players.
The Japanese team’s win puts them up 3-0 in the five-game series. Which means they have won it already, though they do play the whole thing out.
Things haven’t gone quite according to plan for the Astros, who missed the opportunity to clinch the American League Championship Series after losing 4-1 to the Yankees in Game 5 on Friday. Still just one win away from a World Series invitation, they’ll try their luck again on Saturday night.
Neither lineup has been significantly altered for Game 6. The Yankees will try to push the series to a final Game 7 with right-hander Chad Green, backed by this configuration:
1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 1B
2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
3. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
4. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
5. Edwin Encarnación (R) DH
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
7. Gary Sánchez (R) C
8. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
9. Brett Gardner (L) LF
The Astros, meanwhile, will send Brad Peacock to the mound in what figures to be a bullpen game for both sides, marking the righty’s first official postseason start since the 2017 ALDS. Martín Maldonado is back in the lineup, as is Josh Reddick, while both Robinson Chirinos and Jack Marisnick will be available off the bench.
1. George Springer (R) CF
2. José Altuve (R) 2B
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
5. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
6. Carlos Correa (R) SS
7. Yordan Álvarez (L) DH
8. Martín Maldonado (R) C
9. Josh Reddick (L) RF
Starting tonight, the ALCS returns to Houston for Game 6 and a potential Game 7. Game time is set for 8:08 PM EDT.