When the Royals’ signing of Jonathan Broxton was announced this morning, the reaction of most people was “wait, isn’t the Kansas City bullpen kind of crowded already?” Why, yes. Yes it is. But it won’t be going forward because Dayton Moore was just on the radio and said that Joakim Soria will remain the closer, Broxton will set up and Aaron Crow will be moved into the rotation.
Which seems smart to me. Crow was a starter in college and in the minors and when you have a young guy with great stuff like his, you have to figure out if he can handle the bigger job. His control is obviously the big questions — Crow walks a lot of guys — but if he can figure that out he could be a useful starter, and the Royals need a couple of those.
Of course, the scrap heap is filled with guys who had great stuff and bad control of whom it was said “if they can just figure that out,” so we’ll see.
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.