Brian Matusz rocked again as ERA rises to 9.07

1 Comment

Brian Matusz’s miserable season continued yesterday, as he served up three homers and allowed six runs in 5.1 innings against the Yankees, falling to 1-7 with a 9.07 ERA in nine starts.

Matusz had a very promising rookie season last year and the 24-year-old left-hander looked like a big part of the Orioles’ long-term plans, but he missed the first two months of this season with an intercostal strain and then pitched his way back to the minors once healthy.

When the Orioles called him back up two weeks ago they seemed optimistic that he’d worked out some mechanical kinks and rediscovered his lost velocity, but in three starts since then Matusz has allowed 18 runs in 16 innings while opponents bat .348 with a 1.085 OPS.

He’ll get a chance to improve his numbers down the stretch, but right now the former No. 4 overall pick has joined Chien-Ming Wang in 2009 as the only pitchers since 2005 to throw at least 40 innings with an ERA above 9.00. Wang didn’t get a chance to improve on his 9.64 ERA late in the season because he underwent shoulder surgery from which he’s just now getting back on track.

Sean Manaea pitches the first no-hitter of 2018

Getty Images
10 Comments

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.