Framber Valdez had already made history with the Houston Astros in 2022 when he set the record for most consecutive quality starts for a left handed pitcher. He added to his resume on Tuesday night.
Valdez became the first lefty in Astros history to fire a no-hitter, blanking the Guardians in a 2-0 victory. Only a fifth inning walk to Oscar Gonzalez, who had a 1-2 count at one point, kept Valdez from perfection.
Framber Valdez dominant in Houston Astros no-hitter
While most no-hitters are a dominant effort, Valdez wasted little time as he shut down the Guardians. His 93 pitches were the fewest in a no-hitter or perfect game since David Cone needed just 88 pitches in his perfecto against the Expos in 1999. This also continues a rough stretch for the Guardians’ franchise as they have been no-hit five times since the start of the 2021 season. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s last no-hitter came on May 15, 1981 when Len Barker threw his perfect game.
While Valdez had that one blemish on his performance, he came even closer to a perfect game than the walk would show. Will Brennan grounded into a double play to end the fifth inning, allowing Valdez to face the minimum 27 batters during the game. The Guardians were no match for Valdez during his outing.
The Astros as a franchise are no strangers to no-hitters. They had 15 no-hitters prior to Tuesday, the most of any team in the expansion era. One of those was also the first combined no-hitter in postseason history as they blanked the Phillies 5-0 in Game Four of the World Series. It was also the second combined no-hitter started by Cristian Javier that season.
Framber Valdez has carved his name into the Houston Astros record books. He has fired the second no-hitter of the 2023 season.