Brian Fuentes has been inserted late into tie games a lot recently. While one possible takeaway from that is that the manager trusts you to get the team out of tight spots, that strategy has led to Fuentes (a) not being entirely sure what his role is; and (b) taking a bunch of losses.
He’s not too thrilled with that, it seems, and in today’s Chronicle, he says that manager Bob Geren’s handling of him has been “pretty poor” and that there has been “zero communication” between them of late. Guess what: I bet that’s about to change:
Brian Fuentes has been the A’s closer all season. Now he doesn’t know what he is. Thanks to manager Bob Geren.
“The games in San Francisco were unorthodox managing,” said Fuentes, who criticized Geren after Monday night’s 4-1 loss to the Angels for his in-game managing and communication skills. “I thought it was a National League thing. But tonight was pretty unbelievable.”
Um, Brian, you do know that Geren was the best man at Billy Beane’s wedding, right? You think you’re going to win this one?
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.