Cristian Javier

From BR Bullpen

Cristian Javier
(El Reptil)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 213 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

On June 25, 2022, Cristian Javier pitched the first seven innings of a combined no-hitter by the Houston Astros against the New York Yankees. It was a truly dominant performance as he struck out 13 batters in that span while walking only one. However, he needed 115 pitches to get that far and could not complete the game; relievers Héctor Neris and Ryan Pressly then completed the feat with one hitless inning each. Javier got credit for the 3-0 win, and Pressly got the save. It was the first time the Yankees, owners of the best record in baseball, were no-hit since June 11, 2003, when six Houston pitchers had combined their efforts to turn the trick.

Javier was originally signed by Houston on March 18, 2015 as an international amateur free agent. He reached the majors at the start of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, going 5-2, 3.48 in 12 games, including 10 starts. He was third in the voting for the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year Award and did well in the postseason. He earned a win in the Wild Card Series against the Minnesota Twins and another one in the Division Series against the Oakland Athletics, both times in relief. He did not give up a run in 6 1/3 innings over the two series, but the Tampa Bay Rays got to him in the ALCS scoring 3 runs in 3 innings in 2 appearances. In 2021, he was used as a swingman by Houston, making 9 starts in 36 appearances. He went 4-1, 3.55, pitching 101 1/3 innings during which he allowed only 67 hits and struck out 130 batters. Only a relatively high walk rate, with 53 free passes issued, kept him from being truly dominant. In the postseason, he worked solely out of the bullpen once again, and again did not give up an earned run over the first two rounds, this time covering the Division Series and the ALCS, for a total of 7 2/3 innings. But in the World Series against the Atlanta Braves, he gave up 4 runs in 3 innings and was charged with the loss in Game 4 on October 30th when he could not preserve a 2-1 lead as the Astros' fifth pitcher of the game in the 7th inning. He struck out Adam Duvall to start the inning, but then gave up back-to-back homers to Dansby Swanson and pinch-hitter Jorge Soler.

He had an outstanding season for the Astros in 2022, going 11-9, 2.54 in 30 games (25 starts) even though he was only considered the Astros' fifth starter. Opponents hit only .170 against him and his ratio of hits per 9 innings was 5.4 while striking out 194 batters in 148 2/3 innings, or 11.7 per 9 innings. Those types of numbers are usually associated with closers, but Javier was able to put them up while essentially flying under the radar because his won/loss record was unspectacular, and two other members of his team's starting rotation hogged all the news: Justin Verlander due to his amazing comeback season from Tommy John surgery at 39, and Framber Valdez with his streak of 25 consecutive quality starts. On June 25th, he pitched the first seven innings of a combined no-hitter against the New York Yankees at New Yankee Stadium, with Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly pitching one inning each in a 3-0 win. He struck out 13 batters during that game. On October 22nd, he started Game 3 of the ALCS against the Yankees and defeated them again, 5-0, allowing just one hit in 5 1/3 innings. He then had an even better start in Game 4 of the 2022 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. With Houston trailing two games to one and coming off a humiliating 7-0 loss in Game 3, he reproduced his feat from June as he did not allow a hit in the first six innings of the game, giving up just two walks while striking out nine. He left after having thrown 97 pitches and with a comfortable 5-0 lead, and three relievers - Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Pressly - threw an inning each to complete another combined no-hitter. This one was only the second in World Series history, following Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956, and the third in the postseason, after Roy Halladay's no-hitter in the Division Series in 2010. Interestingly, he was the first pitcher ever to be part of two combined no-hitters (along with Pressly) - and both had come in the same season.

On February 10, 2023, he signed a five-year contract extension with the Astros worth $64 million.

He is nicknamed "El Reptil" (The Reptile) because he has cold blood (i.e. never gets flustered), a quality that was readily apparent during his World Series no-hitter.

Notable Achevements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jack Baer: "Astros sign World Series hero Christian Javier to 5-year, $64 million extension", Yahoo! Sports, February 10, 2023. [1]
  • Anthony Castrovince: "World Series no-hitter! Javier, bullpen shut down Phils in Game 4: Astros combine for second no-no in Fall Classic history to knot Series at 2-2",, November 3, 2022. [2]
  • Gabe Lacques (USA Today): "'Clearly unhittable': Cristian Javier makes World Series history with his second no-hitter start of 2022", Yahoo! News, November 3, 2022. [3]
  • Sarah Langs: "Incredible facts and stats about the Astros' Game 4 no-hitter",, November 3, 2022. [4]
  • Brian McTaggart: "Javier (13 K's) leads Houston's 'shocking' combined no-hitter vs. Yanks",, June 25, 2022. [5]
  • Brian McTaggart: "Parents' prediction comes true as Javier leads Astros' no-hitter",, November 3, 2022. [6]
  • Brian McTaggart: "Astros lock in 'core piece,' extend Javier through 2027 season: In first major move as new GM, Brown exemplifies plan to sustain club's success",, February 10, 2023. [7]
  • Brian McTaggart: "Can Javier pitch like he did in the '22 postseason?",, October 4, 2023. [8]

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