The Red Sox entered Saturday's game against Sean Manaea and the A's at the Oakland Coliseum as the hottest team in baseball, having won 17 of their first 19 games on the season. But Manaea confounded Boston's lineup and tossed the first no-hitter of the 2018 season and the first by an A's pitcher since Dallas Braden threw a perfect game on May 9, 2010.
What Manaea accomplished was no easy feat, and it was made all the more difficult by the opponent he faced. The Red Sox had scored 123 runs on the young season entering Saturday's contest, the most in the Majors. They also had the most hard-hit batted balls, per Statcast™ (exit velocity of 95 mph or greater), with 241, and an MLB-leading 59 barrels.
:: Sean Manaea's no-hitter coverage ::
Here's a breakdown of Manaea's place in MLB and Oakland A's history:
• Manaea's was the 12th no-hitter in Athletics history, which ranks sixth-most among active teams dating back to 1901.
• It was the 34th no-hitter in April, and it came exactly two years after Jake Arrieta's no-hitter against the Reds, the only one in 2016.
• Manaea's no-hitter was also the earliest in the season to be thrown by an A's pitcher, and it was just the 43rd time in MLB history that a pitcher threw a no-hitter within the first 21 games of the year, and 17th of the divisional era (since 1969). The most recent no-no this early was, again, Arrieta's. The very earliest no-no in MLB history came from Hall of Famer Bob Feller for the Indians on Opening Day in 1940.
• It was just the seventh no-no in the 51-season history of baseball at the Oakland Coliseum. The only two not thrown by A's hurlers were both achieved by Rangers pitchers: Jim Bibby (July 30, 1973) and Nolan Ryan (June 11, 1990). Ryan's was the sixth of his MLB-record seven no-hitters. He was 43 years old that day.
• Manaea is the third Oakland A's pitcher to strike out 10 or more in a no-hitter. Dave Stewart had 12 strikeouts in his no-hitter against the Blue Jays at Toronto on June 29, 1990, and Catfish Hunter struck out 11 in his perfect game against the Twins at the Oakland Coliseum on May 8, 1968.
• Of the 227 no-hitters since 1908, Manaea's was just the 54th by a left-hander, and first since Cole Hamels against the Cubs on July 25, 2015.
• The Red Sox are the first American League team to be no-hit since the Orioles were no-hit by the Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma on Aug. 12, 2015. Eighteen of the last 21 teams to be no-hit were National League teams dating back to May 2, 2012, when the Angels' Jered Weaver no-hit the Twins at Angel Stadium.
• When Manaea got the final out for his first career complete game on Saturday night -- a Hanley Ramirez ground ball to shortstop that turned out to be the hardest-hit ball of the game by either club, with a 106.1-mph exit velocity, according to Statcast™ -- the Red Sox were no-hit for the first time since the Mariners' Chris Bosio no-hit Boston on April 22, 1993, at the Kingdome.
• The Red Sox streak of 3,987 games without being no-hit was the second-longest active streak in the Majors to the A's; Oakland's run now stands at 4,242, including Saturday.
• At 17-2, the Red Sox's .895 winning percentage was the highest in MLB history by a team that was no-hit at least five games into the season, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The previous high was held by the Giants, who were no-hit by the Phillies' Kevin Millwood on April 27, 2003, at 18-5 (.783).
• According to Elias, the last pitcher to throw a no-hitter against a club that led the Majors in runs per game entering the day was also with the A's: Stewart, who stymied the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on June 29, 1990. Toronto entered that day averaging 4.3 runs per game.