On Saturday night, Athletics’ pitcher Sean Manaea took the mound against the Red Sox. Nine innings later, he completed baseball’s first no-hitter of 2018. He outdueled Chris Sale and the potent Red Sox offense to throw the first no-no of his career, and the Athletics’ first since Dallas Braden’s in 2010. He gift wrapped the Red Sox just their third loss of the entire season, bringing them to a 17-3 (!) record.
Just how dominant have the Red Sox been? At .282, they have the best average in baseball by 15 points. They’ve scored more runs and have more RBI than any other team. Coming into last night, they’d lost just two games. Out of 19! They’ve got four players hitting well over .300 and five with OBPs near of above .350. (And that’s just hitting, they also have the third best ERA in baseball.) The Red Sox are a very good team! And Sean Manaea handled them like they were the 2017 Tigers. (Sorry, Tigers fans, but you know it’s true.)
Manaea, who threw 108 pitches, had a few close calls. In the fifth inning, a Boston baserunner reached on an error by shortstop Marcus Semien. Semien tried an over-the-shoulder catch, but the ball glanced off his glove. It was called an error, but there was a question about whether or not the ball was catchable. So much so that Manaea thought at that point that the no-no was over. He told Susan Slusser that after that, he didn’t realize he had one going until the eighth inning. And in the sixth inning, Andrew Benintendi legged out a single and appeared to dodge the tag, but a review showed him to be out.
Sean Manaea made it through all nine innings on Saturday night, and kept the Red Sox from landing a single solitary hit. By doing that, he didn’t just hurl baseball’s first no-no of the year, he also ended the second-longest active no-hit streak in baseball. The Red Sox hadn’t been no-hit in the last 3,987 games — until last night, of course. The longest no-hit streak? That 4,242 game streak still belongs to none other than the Oakland Athletics. Poetic, isn’t it?
- Dallas Braden, himself the owner of an Oakland Athletics no-hitter, interviewed Manaea after the game for NBC Sports California. And for most of the interview, Manaea was wearing a Dubble Bubble bucket on his head. The no-hitter crown!
- Rhiannon Walker at The Undefeated published a vital and impeccibly researched piece on black managers in baseball. It’s called ”The state of the black manager in baseball would disgust Jackie Robinson,” and true to its title, the stats are devastating. This is a must-read.
- The White Sox announced on Saturday that reliever Danny Farquhar, who had been rushed to the hospital after passing out in the dugout during Friday’s game, suffered a brain hemorrhage. He’s in critical but stable condition, and we’re all sending thoughts and prayers his way.
- Yankees fans, get ready to talk about something besides Giancarlo Stanton. Because uber prospect Gleyber Torres is being called up and will most likely appear in (if not start) Sunday’s game.
- Matt Harvey’s time in the starting rotation seems to be over. The Mets have moved the struggling pitcher to the bullpen.
- Sean Manaea wasn’t the only starter with magic on Saturday — Mike Clevinger threw his first career complete game shutout for Cleveland.
- Bless You Boys got to know RHP Casey Mize, who will probably be their first overall pick in the 2018 draft.
- You want to know how good the Phillies are feeling right now? As Rhys Hoskins was rounding the bases after hitting a go-ahead three-run home run, he and one of the base coaches mimed some Philly Special play action, and it was amazing.