White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper was on Sirius XM this morning, and the subject of Stephen Strasburg moving to the disabled list came up. Here’s Cooper, making every Nationals fan in the country faint:
“Strasburg does something that I call an upside down
arm action. Listen, I’m not wishing this guy bad by any stretch,
but for him to have some problems right now when they are really, really
watching him. What are they to think when they are trying to get 220
[innings] from him? He does something with his arm action that’s
difficult for a guy, in my mind, to pitch a whole lot of innings on. I
call it upside down arm action, some people call it an elbow lead, whatever you
want to call it. It reminds me a little bit of Kerry Wood. It reminds
me a little bit of [Mark] Prior. I hope I’m wrong with this because
he’s an oustanding pitcher.”
But that can’t be! Strasburg has perfect mechanics! Oh, wait . . .
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.