Carlos Zambrano is not the Cubs' biggest problem

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Sticking with the Cubs, the Tribune’s Phil Rogers has a suggestion:

Get Carlos Zambrano out of here, even if the Cubs have to give him
away. He’s not the guy you want as the ace of a curse-busting team, and
at this point, it’s wishful thinking that he’ll ever mature into that
guy.

Proving that I did not attend Kellogg, Wharton or even the Acme
School of Business, I offer this proposition for Jim Hendry: First
thing Monday morning, put Zambrano on waivers. If anyone claims him and
the $62.75 million left on his contract, which runs through 2012,
immediately trade him for whatever is being offered, from a bag of
balls to a 32-year-old minor-leaguer.

I didn’t say a good suggestion.

Setting aside the fact that there are no revocable waivers right now,
which means that if someone claims Zambrano he’s gone, this is a loopy
idea borne more of a columnist with writer’s block than anything
approaching good baseball sense. Zambrano is no man’s idea of a calming
influence, but he’s pitching more or less the same way he always does.
A little better by some measures, actually, and he is certainly not the
reason why the Cubs are in the trouble they are right now.

It’s one thing to complain that he gets too much money for what he
produces — and he probably is a bit overpaid, actually — but
suggesting you get rid of the guy? Please.

Sean Manaea pitches 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.