mike francesa
Peter Ackermann | Asbury Park Press

Mike Francesa is impressed with the Astros’ mettle.

Houston dropped the first game of its four-game set with the Yankees in brutal fashion, blowing a three-run ninth-inning lead in Thursday’s 7-6 loss. But the Astros bounced back for a 3-1 win on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. They then followed up with a combined no-hitter to down the Bombers, 3-0, on Saturday.

Maybe the Yankees won’t have a cakewalk to the American League pennant after all?

“After a nightmarish loss on Thursday night, the Astros have made a big, big statement the past two games, especially with (a) no-hitter,” the WFAN legend tweeted shortly after the final out.

Cristian Javier, Héctor Neris and Ryan Pressly combined for the no-hitter. It’s the first time the Yankees have been no-hit since 2003. Coincidentally, that was an 8-0 win by the Astros that featured six pitchers combining for the feat.


Javier went seven innings, striking out 13 and walking one. Neris worked the eighth inning and Pressly struck out two in the ninth for the save. The Astros can win the series, a potential American League Championship Series preview, with a win Sunday in the fourth game.

Francesa is on record saying it will be “a devastating blow” if the Yankees do not win the World Series this season after their torrid start.

“They have, with this performance, pushed all their cards into the middle of the table,” he said on his BetRivers podcast. “They have to get to the World Series this year. If they don’t, when are they going to get there?”

“They are playing .700-plus baseball. They are dominating. They hit two homers for every homer they give up. Their run differential is getting astronomical. They are, by a large margin in performance, the best team in baseball. But it doesn’t matter if they don’t get to, and win, the World Series. So what do they have to do to do that?”

James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.