Credit the L.A. Times for that new nickname. But their headline writer and Mike DiGiovanna are only working off the reality on the ground:
The boos in Angel Stadium could be heard clearly after his sixth-inning strikeout Friday night, and they grew even louder and longer after he grounded out to third base in the bottom of the ninth.
And why were the booing? Because Albert Pujols took yet another 0 for 4 and the Angels were shut out by Blue Jays pitching for the second straight game. Last night it was Henderson Alvarez, who needed only 97 pitches as he six-hit the punchless Angels.
Mike Scioscia says he may sit Pujols for tonight’s game so he can clear his head. That’s great. But what does he do to clear the heads of the other 12 position players on the roster who can’t hit a lick?
UPDATE (11:06 PM ET): Manaea is through eight innings of his no-hitter. He caught Rafael Devers looking, then induced a pop-up to retire Sandy Leon and whiffed Jackie Bradley Jr. to end the inning. He’s at 95 pitches and a career-high 10 strikeouts entering the ninth.
Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea has no-hit the Red Sox through seven innings of Saturday’s game. 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 held the Sox to just three total baserunners through the first seven innings.
Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning, collecting an infield hit for what appeared to be the Red Sox’ first hit of the evening. Upon further review, however, the hit was reversed after Benintendi incurred a batter interference call for running outside the baseline.
Manaea is currently working with 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. He’s racked up eight strikeouts against 23 batters so far.
If Manaea sees the no-hitter through to completion — as seems entirely possible, given that his pitch count is resting at 84 entering the eighth — he’ll be 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, meanwhile, was back in 1993 against the Mariners’ Chris Bosio.