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.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.