The Sports Report: Astros pitch combined no-hitter to even World Series

Houston pitchers celebrate a combined no-hitter.
Houston pitchers Rafael Montero, Bryan Abreu, Cristian Javier, catcher Christian Vazquez, and pitcher Ryan Pressly, from left, celebrate a combined no-hitter.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Bill Shaikin: Back in the day before pitch counts and 13-man pitching staffs and third-time-through-the-order concerns – and, frankly, before Tommy John surgery – pitching was simple: You stayed in the game as long as you were pitching well. No self-respecting manager would have dreamed of removing a pitcher who was throwing a no-hitter, let alone in the middle of a World Series game his team needed to win.

Only one man has pitched a no-hitter in the World Series: Don Larsen, in 1956.

Yet there we were, nine outs from history Wednesday, when the bullpen gate opened. Cristian Javier had a no-hitter through six innings for the Houston Astros. His day was done.

Larsen must have thrown a ton of pitches, right? That was what they did back in the day.

Well, no. Larsen threw a perfect game, on 97 pitches. The number of pitches Javier threw Wednesday? That would be 97.

For the Astros, all’s well that ends well. Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly backed Javier on the first combined no-hitter in World Series history.


“It’s crazy,” third baseman Alex Bregman said. “We grew up watching the World Series. We know the baseball’s been going on for a long, long time.”

The Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-0, tying the series at two games apiece. One night after the Phillies hit five home runs, and more than half their outs were strikeouts.


Rising in the poles: Philadelphia fans cast their vote for this tradition

Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.


From Dan Woike: If this is the ride the Lakers are going to take people on this season, the destination will undoubtedly stay murky.

They are, indeed, the team that’s offensive struggles are bad enough to open the season on a five-game losing streak, the misses at the rim and three-point line almost impossible to imagine.

They are, also, capable of putting together runs impossibly good basketball, their defense feeding their offense feeding their defense – a high-speed wrecking machine that flip a game in an instant like they were on Sunday against Denver.


But what makes the Lakers even harder to figure out are nights like Wednesday against the Pelicans, where they were all of the above – good and bad, efficient and deficient, winning and losing.

All of it makes them confusing. And, at least on Wednesday, wildly entertaining.

The Lakers coughed up a huge third-quarter lead and came seconds away from their sixth loss this season, but a brilliant out-of-bounds play and a big shot pushed them to a wild 120-117 overtime win.

Matt Ryan, who made the Lakers as the team’s 15th player with an unguaranteed contract flared to the corner and caught a cross-court inbounds from Austin Reaves to sink a tying three – easily the biggest shot of his young pro career.

“It’s a great play call,” Anthony Davis said. “…Matt did what he does.”


From Andrew Greif: The stands weren’t close to full Wednesday, this city’s attention drawn more to the hometown Astros’ World Series appearance than early November basketball. The loudest Toyota Center cheers were sparked between the third and fourth quarters by the scoreboard showing an Astros lead in Philadelphia.

The next-loudest moment came two minutes later. John Wall, the point guard whose divorce with Houston last summer in a contract buyout paved his way to join the Clippers in free agency, had stolen a pass at midcourt when he dribbled pensively toward the three-point line, then burst into the paint. Shuffling the ball around his waist in a full circle to avoid the reach of Rockets guard Daishen Nix, he saw Kevin Porter Jr. awaiting at the rim and flipped the ball behind his head to Moses Brown. Before Brown had time to extend his 7-foot-3 wingspan and dunk for a nine-point lead, Clippers players had jumped out of their sideline seats at the play.

“We talked about it actually in warmups about his patented dribble behind the back move,” said Paul George. “I’ve never seen anyone stop it and sure enough he pulled it out.”


The play during what became a 109-101 win — the Clippers’ second consecutive, improving them to 4-4 — was a glimpse of the Wall the Clippers hoped they were getting upon his signing in July. It was also a moment few saw of him during his 18-month stay in Houston.


From Gary Klein: Cam Akers still might have a future with the Rams.

Coach Sean McVay said Wednesday that he met with Akers and spoke with his agent about options for the third-year running back, who has not practiced or played in the last two games because of what McVay has described as an internal issue.

“We’re working through a couple different options,” McVay said, “but I was very encouraged with the dialogue we had.”

There is “a possibility” that Akers could practice with the team as it prepares for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Fla., McVay said.

“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” he said when asked if Akers could play against the Buccaneers, “but we’re working through some different things.”



From Jeff Miller: When the Chargers signed DeAndre Carter in free agency in April, the plan was for him to be their primary kick returner and an occasional contributor on offense.

On Sunday in Atlanta, Carter could be their No. 1 wide receiver.

The Chargers probably will be without Keenan Allen because of a lingering hamstring injury and might not have Joshua Palmer, who is coming back from his second concussion in three months.

They definitely will be missing Mike Williams, who is expected to be out at least four weeks after suffering a high-ankle sprain Oct. 23 against Seattle.

After Carter, a fifth-year pro with 77 career receptions, the Chargers have Jason Moore Jr. and Michael Bandy on their active roster. Those two have combined for 10 catches in 23 NFL games.


From Kevin Baxter: The U.S. women’s soccer team will start the World Cup year with a six-day training camp and two January friendlies in New Zealand, where it will open defense of its world championship in July.

The two matches — Jan. 18 at Sky Stadium in Wellington and Jan. 21 at Eden Park in Auckland, site of the Americans’ World Cup opener — will be the first matches in New Zealand for the USWNT.


During the World Cup, the U.S. will face Vietnam and a team to be determined in a February playoff in Eden Park, sandwiched around a match with the Netherlands in Wellington.


The men’s national soccer team will play its first two post-World Cup matches in Southern California, facing Serbia on Jan. 25 at Banc of California Stadium and Colombia on Jan. 28 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The U.S. will open group play in the Qatar World Cup on Nov. 21 against Wales, followed by games with England and Iran.

The two January matches will be the first of the 2026 World Cup cycle, which will end with the U.S., Mexico and Canada sharing hosting duties for the first 48-team tournament. As the host countries, all three teams are automatically qualified for 2026.


From Helene Elliott: It’s easy to forget, now that Kings forward Gabriel Vilardi is dominating entire shifts and controlling the puck as if it were magnetized to his stick, that a bad back nearly ended his career before it could truly begin.

The problems that scared some NHL teams and led him to drop from a projected top-five pick in the 2017 draft to No. 11 lingered ominously, costing him precious training time and experience. He played about 80 games — the equivalent of one NHL season — over the next three seasons, through 2019-20.


“There were several months — I wouldn’t say years, but several months — where I wasn’t sure if I was going to be playing hockey for my life,” he said, “which is pretty scary because it’s all I’d ever known, all I ever wanted to do.”

A big, sure-handed center in juniors, he wasn’t a great skater, but he got to the net with great success. He was expected to be a key piece of the Kings’ rebuilding process. Instead, his continued back woes stalled his progress and he fell deeper on the organization’s depth chart each year. He seemed on the verge of becoming a bust.

“With all players, you like to project and hope and all that type of stuff. But the number of setbacks he had, you wondered,” coach Todd McLellan said. “But yet, you kept going back to the package and the skill and the talent and the brain and the hands.”


1899 — Jim Jeffries beats Sailor Tom Sharkey to retain the world heavyweight title after referee George Siler stops the fight in the 25th round at the Greater New York Athletic Club.

1934 — Lou Gehrig wins the American League Triple Crown after hitting .363 with 49 HR, and 165 RBIs. Philadelphia catcher Mickey Cochrane named AL MVP.

1942 — Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams wins the American League Triple Crown (.356 average, 36 HRS, 137 RBI) but Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon is AL MVP.


1968 — Jim Turner of New York kicks six field goals to lead the Jets to a 25-21 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

1973 — Roosevelt Leaks rushes for 342 yards to lead Texas to a 42-14 victory over Southern Methodist.

1973 — Jay Miller sets an NCAA record with 22 catches for 263 yards as Brigham Young beats New Mexico 56-21.

1973 — Stan Mikita of Chicago scores his 1,000th NHL point with an assist in a 5-4 loss to Minnesota.

1987 — New York Rangers’ center Marcel Dionne becomes the 2nd NHL player to score 1,700 points.

1990 — David Klingler tosses seven TD passes, offsetting the NCAA record of 690 passing yards by Texas Christian substitute quarterback Matt Vogler, to lead Houston to a 56-35 victory.


1995 — The Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies open their first NBA season with victories. The Raptors beat New Jersey 94-79 and the Grizzlies beat Portland 92-80.

1996 — Jerry Rice becomes the first player with 1,000 NFL receptions in San Francisco’s 24-17 victory over New Orleans.

1996 — Philadelphia kicker Gary Anderson becomes the fourth player in NFL history to crack the 1,500 point mark with his first-quarter extra-point kick in a 31-21 win over Dallas.

2001 — Arkansas beats Mississippi 58-56 in seven overtimes in the longest major college football game in history. The Razorbacks stop the Rebels’ 2-point conversion try in the seventh overtime for the win. After ending regulation tied at 17, the teams score touchdowns in every extra period but the second.

2007 — Navy snaps an NCAA-record 43-game losing streak to Notre Dame with a 46-44 victory in triple overtime. It’s the first time Navy beat Notre Dame since a 35-14 win in 1963 when Roger Staubach was quarterback for the Midshipmen.

2007 — Al Arbour makes a one-night return to the bench and the New York Islanders rallies from a two-goal deficit to beat Pittsburgh 3-2. Arbour was behind the bench for the Islanders’ four Stanley Cup championships in the 1980s and was invited back to coach the team for the 1,500th time. He earns win No. 740.


2007 — Todd Reesing throws a school-record six touchdown passes as No. 8 Kansas batters Nebraska 76-39. The Jayhawks score touchdowns on 10 straight possessions and rolled up the most points ever scored against Nebraska in 117 years of Huskers’ football.

2012 — Kenjon Barner rushes for a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns and No. 2 Oregon produces another landmark offensive performance in a 62-51 victory over No. 18 USC. Oregon’s 730 yards and 62 points are the most ever allowed by USC, which began playing football in 1888.

2012 — Brooklyn makes a winning return to major pro sports, with the Nets topping the Toronto Raptors 107-100 in the first regular-season NBA game at Barclays Center.

2013 — Nick Foles ties an NFL mark with seven touchdown passes and throws for 406 yards to revitalize the Philadelphia Eagles in a 49-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

2016 — Harvard University suspends its men’s soccer team for the rest of the season over sexual comments made about members of the women’s soccer team. The soccer team, currently ranked first in the Ivy League, forfeits its remaining games of the season.

Compiled by the Associated Press


And finally

Marcel Dionne was a genius on offense. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.