There goes all of that crazy Wes Helms speculation I was looking forward to at this year’s Winter Meetings:
The Florida Marlins have signed third baseman Wes Helms to a $1 million, one-year contract extension through the 2011 season. The
Marlins generally don’t sign players to extensions during the season,
but have been talking to Helms for several weeks about returning. Helms
is hitting .225 with four homers and 22 RBIs in 178 at-bats in 91 games.
Wes Helms had 278 glorious plate appearances for the 2006 Marlins and has been one of the worst hitting third basemen in all of baseball since then. Yes, I realize he’s a backup, but there’s nothing that says your backup can’t hit a little. At this point I can only assume that his continued tenure with the Marlins is based on him being the nicest, most wonderful guy you’d ever want in a clubhouse. Or else the Florida brass thinks that the past four seasons are the exception and 2006 the rule.
According to the AP story, Helms is expected to become a coach or a manager after he’s done. I wonder if the Marlins realize that they can hire him in that capacity even if they don’ give him 250 trips to plate next year.
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.