Link-O-Rama: The Mets' final destination

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* Things have gotten so bad for the Mets on the injury front
that Jose Reyes and trainer Ray Ramirez were rear-ended by a firetruck
yesterday while driving to the hospital for a check-up on the
shortstop’s strained calf. Seriously. No one was hurt, but the Mets’ season is starting to resemble the plot of those Final Destination movies.

* During a radio interview
this morning, Ryne Sandberg said that fellow Cubs great Sammy Sosa
shouldn’t join him in the Hall of Fame. Coincidentally, today is also the 25th anniversary of “The Sandberg Game.”

* Joe Mauer is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated, which means that doofuses can focus on the silly “cover jinx” when his batting average inevitably falls below .400.

* Speaking of the Twins, general manager Bill Smith doesn’t seem to care that the bullpen has been an obvious weakness since the middle of last season.

* Alex Speier of WEEI.com wrote a lengthy and interesting behind-the-scenes look at the Red Sox’s draft.

Sean Manaea pitches the first no-hitter of 2018

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Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.