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Thursday newsletter time: History on the mound swings World Series momentum to Astros

(AP photo/Matt Slocum)

 

 

A night after getting blown off the field and looking like they might get plowed under by the Phillies, the Astros might have taken control of the World Series on Wednesday night.

Cristian Javier and three relievers combined on the second no-hitter in World Series history as Houston blanked Philadelphia 5-0 to even the Fall Classic at two games apiece. Javier was lifted after six innings and 97 pitches. Former Rangers reliever Rafael Montero pitched the eighth inning after Bryan Abreu worked the seventh.

Ryan Pressly finished off the no-no in the ninth.

The Astros scored all five runs in the fifth inning, the first as reliever Jose Alvarado plunked Yordan Alvarez with the bases loaded and no outs. Alex Bregman followed with a two-run double to right field.

Philadelphia hit five home runs Tuesday en route to a 7-0 victory in Game 3 and had all the momentum on its side entering Game 4. Momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher.

The series is now a best-of-3. Game 5/1 is tonight in Philadelphia. The final two games are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Houston.

Houston will turn to probable American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander in Game 5, though he has a career 6.04 ERA in eight World Series starts. The Phillies are going with fellow right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who went to Mansfield Legacy High School.

He started the season with the Angels.

The first no-hitter in World Series history came in 1956, when Don Larson threw a perfect game for the Yankees.

International signing

Twitter provided some Rangers news Thursday afternoon, when baseball writer Francys Romero reported that Cuban outfielder Geisel Cepeda will sign with the Rangers for $200,000 when the next international signing period begins Jan. 15.

The Rangers don’t confirm international agreements until contracts are signed. A baseball source, though, said the Rangers expect the deal to be completed.

Cepeda defected in October 2021 while a Cuban team played in the U-23 World Championships in Mexico. He made his way to the Dominican Republic and has been working out there.

He made his pro debut in Cuba in 2016. His best season came in 2020-21, when he posted at .354/.457/.504 slash line. He walked 51 times in 73 games and struck out only 15 times.

Those are solid numbers, but some Cuban prospects need time to adjust to baseball in the United States as well as the culture here. Rangers minor-leaguer Julio Pablo Martinez talked about that with Rangers Today over the summer.

Among the more coveted prospects in this class, the Rangers have been linked to Sebastian Walcott, a shortstop from the Bahamas who could pocket a bonus of around $3 million.

ICYMI …

Not a lot happening with the Rangers, though stuff is happening. Interviews are being held. Negotiations are taking place. Baseball is being watched. Text messages aren’t being returned (some are, though). The good news is we’ve lined up a guest for the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast. Look for the new episode this weekend. In the meantime, here’s some of our latest content in case you missed it.

Free-agent targets?

Two years on the rise

Dis-Qualifying?

Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: the Bruce Bochy episode

Subscribe to the podcast YouTube channel

Doggy video!

The dog finally had enough. Enjoy. See you Friday.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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1 Comment

  1. Bennie November 3, 2022

    Is this the same Cuban prospect named Geyser Cepeda on Baseball Reference?

    Reply

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