Programming Note: Announcing the Story Explorer

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Sometime later today you’re going to notice a minor change to HBT and the other NBC SportsTalk blogs.  At the bottom of each story there will be a little navigation bar we call the Story Explorer.

The idea is that once you’ve finished reading a post you will be able to browse and then — if you’re so inclined — navigate to other posts on the blog without having to go back to the homepage.  Those of you who have used them should recognize that the Story Explorer is rather similar to the mode of navigation used on our iPhone, iPad and Android apps.

The Story Explorer is currently live over on our outdoors blog, From the Lodge.  Click over and check it out. And, while you’re there, feel free to learn where the deer are currently rutting.  The vegans and PETA members among you can just look at this screencap:

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I’ve been messing with this thing for a little while now, and I really like it. I hope you do too.  And, of course, I hope it works.  To that end, please feel free to give us feedback on it once it goes live later today. Let us know if you like it, what, if anything, you’d change about it, if you like the location below the stories and that sort of thing.

Keep calm and carry on.

 

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.