Bad news for Houston, as Lance Berkman was held out of today’s workout because of what the team is calling a “bruised” knee. He didn’t bang it, but there is swelling and discomfort, which Berkman thinks he might have done while running the bases.
The team isn’t concerned, but Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll — not a doctor, but very knowledgeable about sports injuries all the same — says that a “bruise” absent any trauma suggests an arthritic problem.
It’s obviously way too early to tell if this is truly serious or if he’ll miss any real time. But injuries to Berkman may be less important to the Astros from a can-he-play perspective this season than they are from a can-we-trade-him perspective, what with him in a walk a year and the Astros showing no real intention to sign him to an extension, and the prospect of some chronic knee problem could hurt his trade value, even if he manages to suit up for Houston.
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.