Because of forearm pain Bobby Jenks hasn’t pitched since saving both games of a doubleheader on September 4 and Scott Merkin of MLB.com writes that “he could have thrown his last inning for the White Sox.”
No one seems quite sure when or if Jenks will be able to return this season and manager Ozzie Guillen talked about the 29-year-old closer as if he expects the White Sox to non-tender him this winter rather than risk a big salary via arbitration:
We gambled with this kid and it worked pretty good. We win the lottery. This kid was in Double-A and we picked him up and he pitched very well for us. Hopefully we get him back, but that’s someone else’s department. He was great for the White Sox organization.
That “someone else” is general manager Ken Williams, who seems unlikely to bring Jenks back for what would almost surely be a raise on his current $7.5 million salary. Jenks has converted 27-of-31 saves, but his ERA is a career-worst 4.44, he’s been limited to just 53 innings because of injuries, and he’s allowed more than one hit per inning for the first time.
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.