Play of the Day: an apparently uncatchable infield popup in New York

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Yankees fans have likely seen this already and gnashed their teeth over it in appropriate measure. Or maybe in disproportionate measure, seeing as though the one run it led to didn’t matter given that the Yankees were shutout. Still, it was a monumentally poor effort for all involved.

Ninth inning, nobody out, Alexi Ramirez at bat. He pops up between the mound and short, and … no one gets it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve played any kind of baseball, but my fuzzy memory tells me that, even though it was closer to Rafael Soriano, that’s Jeter’s ball, because pitchers are taught not to go back over the mound in an effort to field baseballs because therein lie broken ankles and stuff.  Assuming that’s the right call, the bad is on Jeter for snoozing when the ball left the bat and not recovering in time.

But hey, at least everything else is going well for him this month.

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.