Citi Field’s closer fences helped the opposition more than Mets

12 Comments

Before the season,  the Mets erected a new fence in front of the old green wall, lowering the height needed for a home run to 8 feet from as much as 16 and cutting the distance from home plate by up to 12 feet.  And, not surprisingly, the number of home runs hit in Citi Field increased, from 108 last year to 155 this year.

But:

Citi Field’s smaller dimensions helped opponents more than the New York Mets. Of the 46 home runs this year that would not have cleared the old wall, 21 were hit by New York, according to figures compiled by the team … Visiting homers went up to 88, a boost from 81 in 2009, 47 the following season and 58 last year. It was the highest total against the Mets since 91 at Shea Stadium in 2001.

I guess David Wright his some more homers at home this year than he did in the past few years. And frankly, I tend to think that making David Wright happy was the whole purpose behind moving fences anyway. So, mission accomplished?

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.