Ever notice that team owners never feel a need to give good GMs votes of confidence?
The Cubs have the top payroll in the National League but headed into the
last game of the first half of the season on Sunday 9 1/2 games back in
the Central. Ricketts, who arrived Sunday and planned on attending
Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Anaheim, said he “had the highest level of
confidence” in general manager Jim Hendry.
“The fact is right now, Jim is our general manager, I support him, I
think he does a great job, and after that we’ll just take it one day at a
time,” Ricketts said.
The “highest level of confidence” stuff sounds pretty encouraging, but the “right now Jim is our general manager” part is a bit more declarative than it is inspirational. Give Ricketts time, though. He’s still new at this ownership thing. This time next year we’ll be 100% sure if he’s being honest with this kind of stuff or if his votes of confidence are of the dreaded variety.
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.