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Yainer Diaz

Yainer Diaz packs punch calling Astros no-hitter

Yainer Diaz hits two homers, guides Blanco's gem

HOUSTON – Astros catcher Yainer Diaz walked peacefully to the mound when Ronel Blanco allowed his second walk of the game to the Blue Jays’ George Springer in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday night. 

Diaz wrapped his arm around Blanco in an attempt to make him feel relaxed and at peace as 27,285 fans in attendance anxiously waited in anticipation to watch history unfold at Minute Maid Park.

“For me, it was about giving him a breather and a little bit of time,” Diaz said of his mound visit in the ninth. “Obviously he just had given up that walk. Trying to get that last out made it feel a little bit stressful.

“So I was just trying to let him give himself a little bit of a breather and give him confidence that if he executes we’re gonna get it done.”

Once Diaz got back behind the plate, Blanco faced Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Blanco induced a grounder to the right side of second base to secure his first no-hitter and the 17th in Astros history.

Yainer Diaz guides Blanco

Mauricio Dubon fielded the ground ball at second and threw it to Jose Abreu to seal the Astros 17th no-hitter in franchise history. Blanco pointed to the sky in pure joy and thanked God as Diaz jumped into his arms to celebrate on the mound. The rest of their teammates followed to celebrate the no-hitter in the 10-0 victory over the Blue Jays.

Blanco became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter within the first eight starts of his career since Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Tyler Gilbert did it in late August of 2021. He was primed to have an excellent day on the mound after his warm-up routine and bullpen session.


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“I felt it immediately when I started throwing in the bullpen,” Blanco said. “I felt that a lot of my pitches were very good. I felt that as well when I got to the ninth inning.”

Abreu made a huge play in the ninth to preserve the no-hitter. Abreu dove on his back hand and pitched the ball to Blanco covering the bag at first to get the second out in the ninth.

Though the play he made was huge, Abreu credits Diaz for managing a phenomenal game behind the plate.

“Obviously you have to give Yainer a lot of credit as well,” Abreu said of Diaz. “He did a great job working with (Blanco).”

Second brush with no-hitter

It wasn’t Diaz’s first time flirting with calling a no-hitter. The Dominican catcher was two outs away from orchestrating his first no-hitter last year. Unfortunately, Diaz would have to wait to catch a no-hitter when Oakland A’s first baseman Ryan Noda hit a single up the middle off Ryan Pressly.

It was almost like he was reminiscing about that game when it came to the seventh inning.

“I’m not going to lie to you, in the seventh inning I had thought about it,” Diaz said of Blanco potentially throwing a no-hitter. “I was very nervous and anxious the whole time. But when it got to the last moment, I put it in all of God’s hands that if I call the correct pitches that we talked about, and execute it then there will be no issue.”

Besides the 25-year-old sophomore conducting a great game defensively, Diaz was scorching hot with his bat coming off the Yankees series. He batted .429 with six hits, two RBIs and two walks while the Astros suffered a four-game sweep against the Yankees in the opening series.

The Auza, Dominican Republic, native was 2-for-4 with two home runs and two RBIs against the Blue Jays. Diaz collected his second career multi-homer game. Moreover, he became the first catcher in MLB history to have a multi-homer game while calling a no-hitter.

“I’m very grateful and blessed with God for this moment and this memory,” he said. “Not only being able to provide with the bat, but also defensively. I think this is going to be a moment that not only I’m going to remember, but a lot of people will remember as well.”

Featured art via Astros.

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