Astros’ Game 4 no-hitter is no match for Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game

Don Larsen pitched first no-hitter in a World Series game and it remains the one by a single pitcher.

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After a gap of 66 years, the World Series has its second no-hitter game on November 2, 2022. The Houston Astros had a combined no-hitter against the Phillies in Game 4. However, the second no-hitter is no match for Don Larsen‘s perfect game in 1956, which was the first-ever no-hitter in the World Series and remains the only one thrown by a single pitcher.

On Wednesday, Cristian Javier began the Astros’ amazing feet with six steady innings. Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero, and Ryan Pressly continued the same with hitless innings. This changed the course of the ongoing World Series and also made history. It was the first combined no-hitter in the playoffs and the second no-hitter game in World Series history.

In 1956, Don Larsen had a perfect game for the Yankees. He achieved this against the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium. This remains the only true World Series no-hitter and until Game 6 of the 2016 NLCS between the Cubs and the Dodgers, it was the only playoff game where a team had to face at least 27 opposition batters. Kyle Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman had that on that day.

Still, Don Larsen’s perfect game for the New York Yankees was the only one in baseball history. Larsen started Game 5 for the Yankees. Mickey Mantle‘s fourth-inning homer broke the ties and Hank Bauer ran a single in the sixth. Larsen got out all 27 batters he faced ensuring a perfect game. Larsen finished the game with just 97 pitches, and only Pee Wee Reese in the first inning was able to get a 3-ball count.

When asked about his perfect game in 1998, Don Larsen famously said, “I had a lot of power. I’ve never had that much power before.”

The closest the Dodgers came to getting a hit against Don Larsen was in the second inning when Jackie Robinson drove a line drive. It bounced to shortstop Gil McDougald after being stopped in the third base and he got Robinson out. In the fifth, Mickey Mantle had a spectacular backhanded catch of Gil Hodges.

In the last, Larsen pitched to Dale Mitchell, who had a career average of .312. Larsen was ahead in the count at 1–2 because he threw fastballs. His 97th pitch got rid of Mitchell, which was the 27th out in a row and the last out of the game. The pinch-hitter tried to hold his swing but the home plate umpire called it a strike. Mitchell had a record one strikeout in every 34 at-bats. He always claimed that he took a ball. But video analysis showed Mitchell swung past the halfway “plane,” which is similar to a swinging strike.

After the last out of the game, catcher Yogi Berra jumped into Don Larsen’s arms.

The Yankees won the series by a score of 4 games to 3 and the perfect game gave Larsen won MVP recognition and the Babe Ruth Award.

Back in 2022, there was a no-hitter but it is less than the historic feat achieved by Dan Larson. Roy Halladay’s 2010 NLDS perfect game for the Phillies against the Reds is the only third postseason no-hitter in the MLB.

Do you agree that Don Larson’s perfect game remains way ahead of the Astros’ combined no-hitter in the annals of baseball’s greatest moments?

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