Out since mid-June with a knee injury, Carlos Beltran is expected to rejoin the Mets tonight.
New York has gone 27-42 since Beltran landed on the disabled list, which makes his opting against simply sitting out the final four weeks of a lost season pretty admirable.
Here’s what Beltran had to say about his decision:
I don’t want to sit back. I’m a ballplayer. When you’re a ballplayer, your job is being able to rehab yourself and if that’s the last game of the season, then play the last game of the season. That’s what we’re here for, that’s what we get paid for.
Beltran was having an MVP-caliber season prior to going on the shelf, doing his usual solid work defensively while hitting .336/.425/.527 with 29 extra-base hits, 11 steals, 40 RBIs, and 40 runs in 60 games despite playing through the knee injury for half that time. I’ve long felt that Beltran was among the more underappreciated stars in baseball and his trying to finish this year on something resembling a high note makes me an even bigger fan.
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.