Getting no-hit in the World Series is embarrassing, but it is just one loss

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Gotta love Kyle Schwarber.

There's no BS in the man.

When informed that the Phillies became just the second team to be no-hit in World Series history, he responded thusly:

"I really don't give a sh--."

It was probably the best way to deal with what happened Wednesday night.

"A lot of people will see this as this big thing," Schwarber added. "For us, it's literally just a loss."

He's right.

As embarrassing as it was to be held hitless by four Houston Astros pitchers in a 5-0 loss in Game 4 of the World Series, it is just one loss. The series is tied at two games apiece. Game 5 is Thursday night. It'll be the last game of the season at Citizens Bank Park. The Phils have overcome a slow start, a manager change and a slew of injuries in 2022. 

This is just one more subplot to make things interesting.

"It's a cool thing for them," Schwarber said of the Astros. "We got no-hit. It's a cool thing for them, but the series is not over. It's a race to two."

The race to two wins will take the Phillies back to Houston for at least a sixth game on Saturday. The Phillies still believe they can win it all even if the pitching seems to favor the Astros, who will send Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez to the mound in Games 5 and 6. The Phils will counter with Noah Syndergaard and a cast of relievers in Game 5 and Zack Wheeler, who is battling arm fatigue, in Game 6.

There have been only three no-hitters in postseason history and two of them have happened at Citizens Bank Park. Before the Astros held the Phillies hitless on Wednesday night, Roy Halladay no-hit the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the National League Division Series in 2010.

Of course, the first no-hitter in postseason history occurred in 1956 when New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in Game 5 of the World Series.

One night before being no-hit, the Phillies blasted five home runs on their way to a 7-0 win in Game 3. All five home runs came against Lance McCullers Jr., who likes to throw breaking balls.

The Phillies may or may not have picked up something in McCullers' delivery as they sniffed out his pitches and drove five of them over the wall. One night later, the Phils weren't able to figure out anything about right-hander Cristian Javier except for the fact that he had a very good fastball.

"Spin rate," said Bryce Harper, citing what made Javier's fastball effective. "His 93 (mph) looks like 97. The slider's good. He's good."

Javier struck out nine and walked two in six innings.

"His fastball has really good ride to it," Nick Castellanos said. "So it's almost a pitch you have to cheat to a little bit to be able to square it, and by cheating to his fastball you're opened up to all of his off-speed stuff. Him and (catcher Christian) Vazquez did a good job game-planning and keeping us off balance."

Phillies hitters struck out 14 times. The Nos. 3 through 6 hitters -- J.T. Realmuto, Harper, Castellanos and Alec Bohm -- were a combined 0 for 12 with 11 strikeouts and a walk.

"Good pitching beats good hitting any day of the week," Harper said. "We've got to flush this and get ready for tomorrow."

In Game 5, the Phillies will face another power arm in Verlander, who led the majors with a 1.75 ERA. The Phillies proved in Game 1 that they could hit Verlander. They trailed, 5-0, early only to come back and win on a homer by Realmuto in the 10th inning.

This Phillies team has some experience in picking itself up after a no-hitter. Back on April 29, five New York Mets pitchers threw a combined no-hitter against the Phils at Citi Field. Aaron Nola, who was the starting pitcher in Wednesday night's Game 4 loss, was the starting pitcher in that game, as well.

Moments after Wednesday night's loss, manager Rob Thomson, who was still the bench coach on April 29, walked into the clubhouse and reminded the Phils of that no-hit loss.

He also reminded them that they bounced back and won the next day on the strength of a couple of late homers by Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins.

"Topper came in real quick after the game and said the last time we got no-hit, we came back and won the next day," Castellanos said. "And he's absolutely right.

"We've done a great job this whole season collectively responding to adversity. This is another opportunity, man."

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