Astros join Don Larsen with World Series no-hitter: What to know about the rarest of feats

The World Series have been played 118 times, and only two no-hitters have been thrown. The first came 24,131 days ago, in Game 5 of the 1956 Fall Classic between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

To consider the Houston Astros combined no-hitter Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of the 2022 World Series to be among the rarest of history would be appropriate.

Sixty-six years ago, Yankees right-hander Don Larsen delivered a perfect game in a 2-0 victory that took two hours and six minutes. After Larsen struck out the 27th batter of the game, Dale Mitchell, for the final out, Yankees catcher Yogi Berra leaped into Larsen's arms in front of 64,519 at Yankee Stadium in what became an iconic baseball image.

There was no Kodak moment for the Astros foursome – starter Cristian Javier, brilliant over six innings and fortified by relievers Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly. But it was enough to put their names in the record books.

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Yankees catcher Yogi Berra leaps into the arms of pitcher Don Larsen after Larsen tossed a perfect game during Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
Yankees catcher Yogi Berra leaps into the arms of pitcher Don Larsen after Larsen tossed a perfect game during Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

Who threw the last World Series no-hitter?

Larsen, 27 years old at the time of the no-hitter, was in his second year with the Yankees. Two years earlier, he led the American League in losses (21) during his second season in the major leagues, a one-year stint with the Baltimore Orioles.

Larsen had broken into the majors one year prior, in 1953, with the St. Louis Browns.

In 1956, he went 11-5 with a 3.26 ERA in a role split between the bullpen and starting rotation (20 starts).

Who played in 1956 Game 5?

Larsen pitched a "perfecto" against a lineup that included Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges, Carl Furillo and Roy Campanella. What makes Larsen's feat even more improbable was that three days earlier, in Game 2, his start lasted 1⅔ innings in which the Michigan City, Indiana, native walked four batters and surrendered four runs – all unearned.

With two outs in the fourth inning of Game 5, Mickey Mantle homered down the right-field line to break a scoreless tie. Leadoff hitter Hank Bauer made it 2-0 with a RBI single that plated Andy Carey two innings later. Future Yankees manager Billy Martin batted sixth and went 1-for-3.

Who tossed the last postseason no-hitter in Philadelphia

The Astros were not the first ones to throw a postseason no-hitter in Citizens Bank Park. Of the three postseason no-hitters, two have taken place in the World Series. And two have taken place in Philadelphia.

The late Roy Halladay, who died in a plane crash in 2017, pitched the only other postseason no-hitter on Oct. 6, 2010 in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS – his postseason debut. Astros manager Dusty Baker was in the opposing dugout that day as the skipper of the Cincinnati Reds.

Earlier that season, Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in MLB history. Halladay was posthumously inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: When was last World Series no-hitter? Astros join Don Larsen's feat