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BREAKING: Athletics’ Sean Manaea Tosses No-Hitter Against Red Sox

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The first no-hitter of 2018 is in the books, and it just so happened to come against baseball’s hottest offense.

Funny how baseball works like that.

Just a little more than two hours ago, Oakland Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea completed his first career no-no, a 10 strikeout masterpiece in a 3-0 win against the Boston Red Sox to snap their eight-game winning streak.

Ironically (but not really, like I said this is baseball), the final out of the game came on the hardest hit ball of the evening off the bat of Hanley Ramirez following an Andrew Benintendi walk:

Boom. History.

For the Red Sox, this is the first time (12th overall) they’ve been no-hit since April 22, 1993 when Chris Bosio of the Seattle Mariners accomplished the feat. Weirdly enough, if Manaea’s no-hitter came one day later, it would’ve been exactly 25 years to the day of Bosio’s. Baseball!!

As for Oakland, this is their first no-hitter since Dallas Braden spun a perfect game on May 9, 2010 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Additionally, it’s the 12th no-hitter in club history, and seventh since the franchise moved to Oakland in 1968.

Manaea, 26, entered Saturday night’s game with a 1.63 ERA in his first four starts; it’s now 1.23 to go along with his 3-1 record.

Everything was working for Manaea on the night as Boston simply had no answer for him. Gotta give him props, and I’m a Red Sox fan. He was damn impressive. I was desperately hoping someone would break it up, but it simply didn’t happen. I hate to see my Red Sox get no-hit, but this was an A+ effort.

Some fans on Twitter think Manaea didn’t deserve a no-hitter because of this:

https://twitter.com/BallparkVids/status/987892813177282560

But Benintendi was clearly out of the baseline. Wasn’t that close. Rules are rules.

Also an inning before that, Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien dropped a popup off the bat of Sandy Leon. He had to go back on it, but it didn’t look like very hard of a play. It wasn’t exactly the most “routine” play you’ll ever see but the ball was extremely catchable as it hung up in the air for plenty of time. Semien didn’t have to sprint back either as he was jogging pretty casually. Looked to be in control, but straight up dropped the ball. Legit error in my opinion. Obviously there were fans not happy with that call either. In those stages of the game, you want the first hit to be a clean one.

Also, remember that Semien’s not that great of a defensive shortstop. He had 56 errors at short from 2015-16, and nine last year in 85 games. Major League shortstops should make that play.

For those unfamiliar with who Manaea was prior to his gem, they’re sure as hell familiar with him now, and something tells me that the third-year Athletic (19-19, 4.12 ERA the previous two years in 54 games/53 starts) is about to be the most picked up player in fantasy because this was truly a breakout performance to put his name on the map.

Couldn’t have said it any better. Once again, BASEBALL.

Congratulations, Sean.

American League

2018 ALCS: Astros Aiming To Repeat, Red Sox Looking For Revenge

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NBC.

This year’s American League Championship Series won’t be an unfamiliar scenario for baseball fans, because it’s a rematch of last year’s American League Division Series. Defending World Champion Houston will square off with Boston for the second consecutive postseason, this time with one more game and a lot more at stake. Houston wants a second consecutive pennant, Boston wants second blood.

The Astros defeated the Red Sox three games to one in one half of last season’s ALDS. The Red Sox were on the cusp on forcing a decisive Game 5, but questionable managerial decisions from ex-skipper John Farrell ultimately led to the team’s demise. The Astros then defeated the Yankees and then Los Angeles (both in thrilling seven game series) to bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to Texas for the first time ever.

Image result for George Springer

Postseason homer machine George Springer will look to send his team to another Fall Classic (The Houston Chronicle).

Both teams have different looks this time around in converse ways. Houston traded for superstar RHP Gerrit Cole last offseason while Boston signed slugging free agent OF/DH JD Martinez. What’s interesting is that both moves paid massive dividends. Aside Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton, Cole helped make the Astros’ starting rotation the unquestioned best in the game. Martinez, on the other hand, rejuvenated the Red Sox’ previously dormant offense and made it a force to be reckoned with again, coming within inches of the Triple Crown in the process.

What’s even more interesting is the new dynamic the rematch presents. As previously mentioned, the Sox parted ways with John Farrell last fall after his controversial pitching decisions killed the team’s rally and got them bounced from the ALDS for the second straight year. Who did they hire almost immediately after?  Houston Bench Coach Alex Cora, who resigned from AJ Hinch’s staff after Game 7.  Though there doesn’t appear to be any hard feelings on Houston’s side, it’s safe to bet that it will still serve as motivation.

Image result for alex cora

Red Sox rookie manager Alex Cora finds himself opposite the team he helped lead win it all last season (The Boston Globe).

Boston’s motivation is quite simple, don’t lose to the same team two years in a row. To do this, the team will have to find a way to topple that lethal trio of Verlander, Keuchel and Cole, but also to shut down Houston’s relentless offense, led in the ALDS by Alex Bregman and George Springer. Though he was injured for a majority of the year, Jose Altuve still goes without saying as well.

Don’t get it wrong, though. The Red Sox are no slouches, featuring two MVP front runners in Martinez and Mookie Betts alongside Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts. Chris Sale anchors a rotation that fared quite well against the Yankees in the LDS (with the obvious exception of David Price). Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello were all excellent vs. New York’s powerful core, Cora will be hoping they can replicate that success. He has announced that Price will start Game 2 despite yet another disaster in ALDS Game 2, the reasoning behind this decision is anyone’s guess.

Game 1 is Saturday at 8:09 PM ET on TBS from Fenway Park. Each team will lead off with its ace, Verlander vs. Sale. Don’t miss it!

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American League

Orioles Part Ways with Buck Showalter

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The Baltimore Orioles will be in search for a new manager as Buck Showalter will not return to his manager post in 2019 following a 9 year run with the organization, according to ESPN.

Showalter, 62, was at the helm for a nightmare 2018 that saw the team trade Mann Machado as they decided to start a massive youth movement, and the O’s went 47-115 to became just the fifth major league team since 1900 to lose 115 games or more in a season.

“Mr. Angelos’ family has been great to me and mine,” Showalter said on Sunday regarding the pending decision of owner Peter Angelos . “So whatever direction they decide to go, I’m at peace with it.”

“It’s about winning the game,” Showalter said at the conclusion of the season. “That’s one of the things I really feel like we need to get back to, the expectations of winning. That’s part of it. You’ve got to have expectations of winning, regardless of if you’re whatever they call it nowadays — building. I don’t believe in rebuild, the word rebuild. The first thing you have to accomplish, and one of the things I tried to do when I got here, is to raise the expectations of winning.”

Per the report, Showalter received official word in a meeting with brothers John and Lou Angelos on Wednesday morning.

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American League

White Sox Outright Dustin Garneau

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The Chicago White Sox have outrighted catcher Dustin Garneau to Triple-A Charlotte, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen.

With the move the White Sox created an open spot on their 40-man roster.

Garneau posted a dreadful .194/.269/.321 over 280 plate appearances at the major league level, a far drop off from his production at the Triple-A level this season, where he posted a .252/.340/.468 line to go along with seven homeruns.

 

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