The Red Sox were red-hot, but it didn't stop Sean Manaea from twirling a no-hitter
History was made on Saturday night in Oakland, as starter Sean Manaea became just the 12th pitcher in A's history to throw a no-hitter. The feat alone would have been an accomplishment anyway, regardless of Manaea's opponent. What made it special, though, is that it came against a ridiculously hot Red Sox team.
Merely a day prior, the Red Sox looked unstoppable. They quickly rallied from down 3-0 on Friday night to score seven unanswered runs in a 7-3 win. It was their eighth win in a row and it moved them to 17-2 on the season -- the best start since the 1987 Brewers and a mark matched by just four other teams in the live-ball era.
Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox offense has played a big role in their terrific start. Entering play on Saturday, they led the Majors in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage with a .293/.361/.497 batting line. Mookie Betts was a wrecking crew on his own, leading the American League in average and slugging and belting three homers in one game as recently as Tuesday:
On Saturday, however, Betts went 0-for-3 against Manaea and none of his teammates fared any better. Hard-hitting teammate Rafael Devers found himself swinging at air:
Even when given a second look at Manaea, Devers and company had no answer:
It was frustrating, to be sure.
The Red Sox had not been no-hit in 25 years, so by the later innings, the Red Sox Twitter account had taken to trying to jinx Manaea out of his no-hitter:
NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. NO HITTER. https://t.co/hdPQYtYRZM- Red Sox (@RedSox) April 22, 2018
Despite the team's best efforts, Manaea finished his no-no. No team in baseball history ever had a better record at the time it was no-hit than the 17-2 Red Sox.
Hanley Ramirez grounded out for the finishing blow, and even he had to tip his cap to Manaea after the game:
Congratulations Sean Manaea, you were really good tonight bro 👍- Hanley Ramirez ⚾️ (@HanleyRamirez) April 22, 2018
That qualifies as a hard-earned no-hitter.