PHILADELPHIA — It was Christian Javier’s masterpiece but of course, an ex-Met made a cameo.

The Houston Astros threw a combined no-hitter in a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of the World Series on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park with Javier throwing the first six innings. The series is now tied 2-2.

But in a series littered with former Mets, it was fitting that one played a role.

Manager Dusty Baker was in a tough spot with Javier at 97 pitches through six innings. He went to right-hander Bryan Abreu for the seventh inning and former Mets’ right-hander Rafael Montero for the eighth. Montero retired the side to preserve the no-hitter. Ryan Pressly worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to help the Astros complete the third no-hitter in postseason history.

“You don’t want to bring a guy out of the bullpen in that situation with a guy on base, so I wanted a fresh arm,” Baker said. “Our guys have been rested. Our guys hadn’t pitched in a couple days, our back end of the bullpen guys. So it’s always tough to take a guy out, but you have to weigh the no-hitter and history versus trying to win this game and get back to 2-2 in the World Series.”

Montero is yet another familiar face from an era in which the Mets drastically underperformed despite a desire to contend. Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, two of the Mets’ “Five Aces” will pitch in Games 5 and 6.

Montero was a highly-ranked prospect that never figured it out with the organization that signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. He fell into a familiar pattern with the Mets, dominating minor-league pitching but struggling at the big-league level. The right-hander would pound the zone in spring training games and Triple-A games but nibble around the corners in the big leagues. And when he nibbled, he got beat.

Montero went 6-16 with a 5.38 ERA in 58 games (30 starts) with the Mets from 2014-2017 and he frequently shuttled back and forth from Triple-A. He underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2018 and became a free agent after the season after refusing a minor league assignment.

Every organization’s worst nightmare is a prospect going somewhere else and flourishing, but that’s exactly what happened when he went to the Texas Rangers in 2019. Eventually, he was traded to the Seattle …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Former Mets prospect Rafael Montero key for Astros bullpen in World Series

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