Mother Nature wreaked havoc on U.S. Cellular Field Tuesday night, as a wild thunderstorm hit the contest between the White Sox and the Cubs, causing a 1 hour, 44-minute delay.
Heavy winds made it difficult to get the tarp on the field, leaving the infield a muddy mess for crews to battle after the rain finally stopped. If you watch the video above, you can see it’s a miracle they got the tarp on at all, as it took quite an effort just to get things under control.
Aside from the weather, there were some notable things from the game itself, which the White Sox won 3-2, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Brent Morel in the seventh inning.
- Paul Konerko continued his hot streak, hitting a home run for the fifth straight game. It was his 21st of the season and came off Matt Garza in the second inning. The record for consecutive games with a home run is eight, shared by Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long.
- In a far more random stat, White Sox starter Mark Buehrle came up short in his bid to earn his major league-best 25th interleague win. Buehrle left the game with a 2-1 lead, but Jesse Crain came on after the delay and surrendered a game-tying sac fly to Aramis Ramirez.
- Adam Dunn, who is hitting .175, went 0-for-4 and struck out twice. He has now whiffed 91 times in 217 at-bats this season. Dunn has walked 41 times, though, leading Ozzie Guillen to quip: “I should put Dunn at leadoff because he’s the one who gets on base the most, but instead of striking out four (times), he might strike out six (times).”
Tossing a no-hitter doesn’t just require physical excellence; it’s a mental feat, too. Which is why it may have helped that Athletics hurler Sean Manaea didn’t realize his no-hitter was intact until the eighth inning of Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Red Sox.
While the first few innings passed uneventfully, Sandy Leon managed to reach base in the fifth inning after skying a ball to shallow center field. It wasn’t a clean hit, of course — shortstop Marcus Semien dropped the ball on the catch and was promptly charged with an error to preserve Manaea’s no-hit bid.
That was news to Manaea, who told reporters that he didn’t realize he still had a no-hitter going until he saw the scoreboard in the eighth inning. “Until the eighth, I thought it just like was a one-hitter,” he said. “I looked up in the eighth and saw there were still zeros and was like, whoa, weird.” The delay of that realization may have calmed his nerves as he continued to blank the best team in baseball, eventually capping his 108-pitch, 10-strikeout effort in the ninth.
A few fun facts about the feat:
- Manaea’s no-hitter was the 12th of its kind in franchise history, dating back to Weldon Henley’s no-no against the St. Louis Browns in 1905.
- The most recent pitcher to do so for the A’s was fellow left-hander Dallas Braden, who completed the club’s second-ever perfect game against the Rays in 2010. Surprisingly, Manaea managed to make even more efficient use of his pitch count than Braden did during his perfecto; he fired just 108 pitches against the Red Sox, a hair under the 109 pitches used by Braden against the Rays.
- Manaea himself, however, is just the seventh Athletics pitcher (and third lefty) to toss a no-hitter. Legendary southpaw Vida Blue pitched two no-nos for the team, including a combined no-hitter that also featured Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers against the 1975 California Angels.
- Until Saturday, the Red Sox had the second-longest streak without being no-hit in the majors, at 3,987 games… a record that was only eclipsed by the A’s own streak.
- With a 17-2 record and .895 winning percentage, the Red Sox were the most successful team to be no-hit in major-league history. Prior to Saturday’s loss, they averaged 6.4 runs per game and had yet to be shut out by any team in 2018.
- Since 1908, 46 no-hitters have been pitched against AL East teams: four against the Blue Jays, five against the Rays, eight against the Yankees, 13 against the Red Sox and 16 against the Orioles. Mariners lefty Chris Bosio was the last pitcher to no-hit the Red Sox, a feat he accomplished almost exactly 25 years ago on April 22, 1993.