After eight straight wins and a 17-2 start, Oakland Athletics starter Sean Manaea threw a no-hitter against the red-hot Boston Red Sox, to cap off an historic night.
Baseball is a crazy sport. So much can occur unexpectedly, which is probably why it still has major relevance throughout the entire world. The night of April 21 turned out to be another perfect example of the astonishing and amazing. Sean Manaea of the Oakland Athletics threw a pristine no-htter against the hottest team in baseball, the Boston Red Sox.
According to ESPN, the Sox were batting .291 as a team prior to the game against Manaea, and came in having won their past eight contests.
According to ESPN writer Bradford Doolittle, Boston scored 34 runs in their previous four outings, and is currently on pace to top over 1,000 runs for the season. Saturday night was most likely an anomaly.
Like most games that involve a no-hitter, a couple questionable calls had to go the way of the winning team.
The situation where Andrew Benintendi ran out of the baseline to avoid a tag, and then slid into first base, caused some much-needed discussion. However, after looking at it a couple of times, it seems like the umpires made the right call. Also, it would have been heartbreaking to see such a feat ruined by a silly rule.
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According to Doolittle, Manaea became only the third pitcher in history to throw ten strikeouts while no-hitting the Red Sox. The other two are Jim Bunning and Walter Johnson.
Also, no team since the Dodgers in 1988 have gone on to win the world series after being no-hit in the regular season. That stat doesn’t really take into account the fact that normally, bad teams are the ones that get no-hit on.
Sox fans shouldn’t be worried at all, especially since this happened so early in the season. This is not something fans would have wanted to occur in August in September when manager Alex Cora is trying to gear his team up for the playoffs.
Ben Porter, a fellow writer for FanSided, reminded us that Boston has the lowest strikeout rate in the MLB, at around 16 percent. Remember, that is for the first 19 games, not just for one measly April battle.
Saturday night was more of a fluke than the norm. Despite that, Manaea pulled of a pitching performance of the ages, and did it against a squad that was (and still is) at the top of the league.