In the history books, it will only read that Oakland Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea pitched the season’s first no-hitter in a 3-0 victory against the Boston Red Sox.
To those who saw it, a few more questions will linger after a pair of questionable plays allowed Manaea’s historic outing to continue. But they should not take away from a masterful performance that left the MLB-best 17-2 Red Sox overwhelmed.
The A’s left-hander was dialed in from the beginning, impressively outdueling Chris Sale. Manaea struck out 10 and walked only two. Another Boston baserunner reached on a fifth-inning error. That’s one play that will be talked about as A’s shortstop Marcus Semein drifted back and attempted to make an over-the-shoulder catch, only for the baseball to bounce off his glove. It was a catch he could have made, but the degree of difficulty was such that some might question the error.
In fact, it seems that’s how Manaea himself would have ruled it.
Sean Manaea thought he lost the no no on that error by Semien. Didn’t realize he had one going until the eighth.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) April 22, 2018
An inning later, it again appeared that Manaea’s no-hitter was over. Boston’s Andrew Benintendi legged out, or perhaps more appropriately lunged into first base with an apparent infield single after avoiding the tag of Matt Olson. Benintendi was originally ruled safe, but an umpires huddle determined he left the baseline.
On that play, the runner has three feet on either side of the line. If he cleared three feet, it wasn’t by much. It was another call that could have gone either way. In this case, it went Manaea and the A’s way.
Of course, Benintendi and the Red Sox were none too pleased about it.
Andrew Benintendi called it a “missed call” and thought the umpires were “searching for something” because of the situation. He was steamed.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) April 22, 2018
There were no doubts from that point on. In fact, Manaea appeared to get stronger as he went along, mowing down nine of the last 10 Red Sox with one walk mixed in.
Manaea wrapped things up on his 108th pitch, getting Hanley Ramirez to ground into a fielder’s choice. The game was completed in an efficient two hours, 16 minutes. That will make a lot of people in MLB’s offices pretty happy too.
The no-hitter was the first in MLB since Edinson Volquez shutdown the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 3, 2017. It was the seventh no-hitter since the Athletics moved to Oakland, and their first since Dallas Braden’s perfect game in 2010.
It was shocking. It was sensational. At points it was even a little controversial. It all added up to a night Sean Manaea and the A’s will never forget.
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