Valdez throws no-hitter

Astros Pitcher Throws 93 Pitch No-Hitter

02 August, 2023

Justin Verlander, please step away. The biggest Houston Astros story from Tuesday night is no longer about you.

On the night when his team acquired Verlander from the New York Mets in a trade before the MLB trade deadline, Framber Valdez pitched a 93-pitch no-hitter against the Cleveland Guardians.

A blooper to shortstop Jeremy Pea, who caught it to secure history, capped Valdez’s dominance, which was the 16th no-hitter pitched in Astros history.

And it turns out that Verlander was the final Houston starter in nine innings of baseball in 2019 to pitch a no-hitter.

The fourth-fewest pitches a starting pitcher has required to complete a no-hitter in MLB history were used in Valdez’s no-hitter. The previous record for fewest pitches thrown was held by David Cone’s 88-pitch perfect game against the New York Yankees in 1999.

Additionally, Valdez is the only left-hander in Astros history to throw a no-hitter.

As Valdez’s teammates raced to him to celebrate, the fans at Minute Maid Field, the Astros’ home field, went wild.

Having not given up a single run or hit while striking out seven batters and walking one, Valdez, who is a candidate for the American League Cy Young Award this season, now has a 3.07 ERA.

Up until Valdez issued a leadoff walk in the top of the fifth inning, the only thing that remained of the perfect game in this appearance was the no-hitter. Later, a double play would soon put an end to the walk and the inning.

The Astros organization has experience with no-hitters; during their World Series-winning season last year, they combined to throw two no-hitters, one of which occurred in the decisive series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The only other starters to throw a no-hitter this year were Valdez and Domingo German of the New York Yankees, who pitched a perfect game against the Oakland Athletics in June.

The Astros needed just two runs to secure their 61st victory of the season thanks to Valdez’s performance. Kyle Tucker’s two-RBI single in the bottom of the third inning proved to be the game-winning swing of the bat.

A Texas Rangers defeat to the Chicago White Sox would have been the icing on the cake for Astros supporters on this glorious Tuesday. But they also triumphed 2-0, maintaining their lead over the Astros in the AL West by a game and a half.

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