Buster Posey is the NL Rookie of the Year

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The BBWAA has released the results, and Buster Posey is the National League Rookie of the Year.

As expected, Posey and Heyward were number one and number two. Following them on the ballot were Jaime Garcia, Gaby Sanchez, and Neil Walker, respectively. Starlin Castro was sixth. I was rather surprised to see anyone get first place votes besides Posey and Heyward, but Garcia got one and Sanchez got two. I was also surprised to see the BBWAA website spell Jason Heyward’s name incorrectly — they went with “Hayward” —  but I suppose I’m the last one who can get on anyone about typos.

Posey put up a .305/.357/.505 line  18 homers, 23 doubles and 67 RBI while playing excellent defense at catcher. Heyward’s line was .277/.393/.456, with 18 homers, 29 doubles and 72 RBI. While not nearly as valuable defensively as the catcher Posey, Heyward was solid in right field himself.

The biggest difference, of course, was playing time, with Heyward began the season on the big club while Posey, in contrast, cooled his heels in Fresno for nearly two months, making his 2010 debut on May 29th.  The voters obviously felt that the 77 plate appearance difference between the two was not large enough to be the determining factor.

Like I said yesterday: neither Heyward nor Posey could complain about coming in second to the other.  Either would have been a fabulous choice. As it stands, that choice is Buster Posey.

Sean Manaea pitches the first no-hitter of 2018

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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.