All-Star Game ratings up, social media activity goes bonkers

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The numbers are out for last night’s All-Star Game and they’re pretty good:

The All-Star Game telecast on Fos drew an 8.1 metered market rating according to data from Nielsen, representing a +3% increase over the 7.9 from last year’s game in Phoenix. Fox won the night in prime time, beating its nearest competitor by 47%.  St. Louis led all markets with a 20.5 rating, followed by host Kansas City which averaged an 18.7 and Detroit which delivered a 16.1.  Among the markets seeing the biggest increase in ratings over last year were Detroit (+50%), Washington (+36%), Los Angeles (+27%) and Dallas (+27%).

Not bad considering it was a crap game, competitively speaking, ending before it really started. And the 50% increase for Detroit must have been a function of that can’t-look-away-from-a-car-crash thing with respect to their boy Justin Verlander.

MLB is also touting all of the social media buzz surrounding the game. Specifically, that initiative they launched this year in which players tweeted from the ballpark after they were removed from the game:

On social media, the All-Star Game generated 807,603 total public Twitter and Facebook comments, a 257% increase over last year’s All-Star Game (226,461), based on data from Bluefin Labs.  In fact, by the end of the first inning last night there were already more social media comments than the entire 2011 All-Star Game generated.  Among 27 different All-Star related topics that trended worldwide on Twitter last night, the hashtag #ASG was used in 245,362 social media comments making it the most trended term for the telecast (30.4% of all comments).

I would guess there is some relationship — the nature of which I have no idea, but I suspect exists anyway — between social media buzz and ratings. Maybe it’s weak. Maybe it’s counterintuitive, but I bet it’s something.

Sean Manaea pitches 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.