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Monday, April 23, 2018

Sean Manaea and a Historic No-Hitter

Por Jack Leyva

After a win-and-lost record of 17-2 in the first games celebrated in the MLB in this 2018’s season, the Boston Red Sox arrived to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with the confidence that they could stretch their so far spectacular performance, but Sean Manaea did not allowed this. The left handed pitcher, who had had three off-years, the same amount of time in which he has been in the MLB, achieved the first complete game of his career and the first no-hitter in the 2018, a great feat if we take into account the powerful offense of the Red Sox.

Mokie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, Hanley Ramirez, JD Martinez, Eduardo Nunez, Rafael Devers and others that were also part of the insurmountable battery of the Boston team in the initial weeks of the championship, were astounded by Manaea’s domain, who throw a complete game, only giving up two walks in his no-hitter game. The left handed showed great control over the strike zone and worked Boston’s hitters, especially in the outside corner, which took away the power of the rival batters. Without a great speed (no more than 93 miles/h), the twenty-six-year-old pitcher got ten strikeouts and he worked calmly going out of the jam.

As it is only normal in a baseball game, Manaea saw his no-hitter in danger in several occasions. First, the shortstop Marcus Semien, with a great performance in the game (3 runs scored and a homer), could not catch a fly behind the infield, although it was registered in the score sheet as an error due to a deflect off Semien’s glove. Later in the game, Benintendi hit a short grounder by the first base and got safe, but the umpires determined that he had abandoned the base line in order to avoid first baseman Matt Olson, so the play was declared out by them. Besides, Manaea started the game giving up a walk to Betts, and he also gave up one to Benintendi, the next to last batter of the game but not one of them could make it past the first base. This way, Sean Manaea consolidates a place as the most effective pitcher of the MLB in the last week, because before his amazing start against the Red Sox he only allowed two hits and one earned run to the Seattle Mariners.

This is 2018 season’s first no-hitter and the number 297 in the history of the MLB. It came, as usual, unannounced, and in this particular case, by the hand of a pitcher without that much history, who had neither complete games nor shutouts in his career. The Red Sox did not receive a no-hitter since Chris Bosio from Seattle defeated them on April 22, 1993, with a score of 2-0, so Manaea did something that had not happened for 25 years. Last but not least is the fact that the Oakland Athletics did not have a no hit no run game since 2010, when Dallas Braden had a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays with a score of 4-0.