If the Philadelphia Phillies offense was dominant on Tuesday and their pitching was on point that night, the script flipped for Wednesday’s Game 4 of the World Series.
Last night, it was the Houston Astros who showed a dominant offensive performance, but their pitching was even better.
They were all very impressive, particularly Javier.
The right-hander pitched six shutout, hitless innings with just two walks and nine strikeouts.
Not only did the Phillies barely make contact all night: when they did, it was weak.
This was mostly reflected on their xBA, or expected batting average.
Astros Pitching Completely Dominated The Phillies In Game 4
The league defines xBA as a Statcast metric that measures the likelihood that a batted ball will become a hit.
“Each batted ball is assigned an xBA based on how often comparable balls — in terms of exit velocity, launch angle and, on certain types of batted balls, Sprint Speed — have become hits since Statcast was implemented Major League wide in 2015,” the league’s official site explained.
According to stats expert Devan Fink, the Phillies’ xBA was abysmal, and credit for that should go to the Astros’ pitching staff.
“In the no-hitter, Astros pitching held the Phillies to an .081 xBA tonight. That’s the lowest single-game xBA for any team in any postseason game in the Statcast Era. What a pitching clinic, and in the World Series, no less,” Fink tweeted.
In the no-hitter, Astros pitching held the Phillies to an .081 xBA tonight. That's the lowest single-game xBA for any team in any postseason game in the Statcast Era. What a pitching clinic, and in the World Series, no less.
— Devan Fink (@DevanFink) November 3, 2022
The Astros pitchers missed a lot of bats (Abreu, Montero and Pressly combined for five additional punchouts besides Javier’s nine), but also limited hard contact, hence the low xBA.
It was an impressive display at the most opportunistic time, as the World Series is now tied 2-2.