A no-hitter is one of the most impressive feats a pitcher can shoot for.
It means that, for a game, the opposing team couldn’t inflict any damage.
It counts if it is combined, too: several hurlers can join forces to cover the nine innings and complete the accomplishment.
The Houston Astros no-hit the New York Yankees’ impressive offense over the weekend.
Catcher Martin Maldonado was there to guide them from start to finish.
For the Astros’ veteran backstop, it wasn’t the first time he led the Astros pitching staff to a combined no-hit, no-run.
“From the @astros: Martín Maldonado became the first catcher in MLB history to catch multiple combined no-hitters,” reporter Mark Berman tweeted.
From the @astros: Martín Maldonado became the first catcher in MLB history to catch multiple combined no-hitters.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) June 28, 2022
The King Of The Combined No-Hitter
As it turns out, the Astros threw another combined no-hitter in August 2019, and Maldonado, known for his excellent leadership and game-calling skills, was there behind the plate, too.
In an article by MLB.com from three years ago, when they achieved the feat, Sanchez talked about how the communication channels established by Maldonado helped him gain an edge:
“He was everything. To be able to establish everything out of the gate, throwing everything for strikes, and then after that it’s just keeping guys off-balance. In between innings, he would give his two cents on what he saw and what he wanted and that goes a long way when you have someone behind him like that.”
Maldonado may not be an elite hitter, but he sure can catch a game and guide a staff.