Delino DeShields Jr. is astonishingly optimistic about getting beaned with that fastball

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Astros prospect Delino DeShields Jr. was hit by a pitch, fractured his cheek bone and was featured in the photo of the year so far over the weekend. So, if he’s discouraged or bitter about it all, it would be totally understandable. But guess what: he’s not discouraged or bitter. Not at all.

DeShields gave an interview to Fox’s Jimmy Traina yesterday, and he’s waxing optimistic. Traina asked him if he was scared when his face blew up like it did:

I wasn’t scared at all. Everything happens for a reason, as silly as that may sound considering I got a ball to my face. But at the end of the day, I’m blessed and I know that God has something in store for me . . . Right now I’m going great, man. I’m in high spirits, and, like I said, I’m just blessed that God is giving me a second chance to play the game I love. It’s just a minor setback. There’s gotta be some major stuff that needs to happen to me before I can’t step back on the field against my own will.

He added “it could be a lot worse and I’m not dead,” and talked about how he and teammates starting joking about it the second he regained consciousness. 

Impressive stuff. This must be what they talk about when they talk about a guy having “a good makeup.”

Sean Manaea thought he was throwing a one hitter

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Tossing a no-hitter doesn’t just require physical excellence; it’s a mental feat, too. Which is why it may have helped that Athletics hurler Sean Manaea didn’t realize his no-hitter was intact until the eighth inning of Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Red Sox.

While the first few innings passed uneventfully, Sandy Leon managed to reach base in the fifth inning after skying a ball to shallow center field. It wasn’t a clean hit, of course — shortstop Marcus Semien dropped the ball on the catch and was promptly charged with an error to preserve Manaea’s no-hit bid.

That was news to Manaea, who told reporters that he didn’t realize he still had a no-hitter going until he saw the scoreboard in the eighth inning. “Until the eighth, I thought it just like was a one-hitter,” he said. “I looked up in the eighth and saw there were still zeros and was like, whoa, weird.” The delay of that realization may have calmed his nerves as he continued to blank the best team in baseball, eventually capping his 108-pitch, 10-strikeout effort in the ninth.

A few fun facts about the feat:

  • Manaea’s no-hitter was the 12th of its kind in franchise history, dating back to Weldon Henley’s no-no against the St. Louis Browns in 1905.
  • The most recent pitcher to do so for the A’s was fellow left-hander Dallas Braden, who completed the club’s second-ever perfect game against the Rays in 2010. Surprisingly, Manaea managed to make even more efficient use of his pitch count than Braden did during his perfecto; he fired just 108 pitches against the Red Sox, a hair under the 109 pitches used by Braden against the Rays.
  • Manaea himself, however, is just the seventh Athletics pitcher (and third lefty) to toss a no-hitter. Legendary southpaw Vida Blue pitched two no-nos for the team, including a combined no-hitter that also featured Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers against the 1975 California Angels.
  • Until Saturday, the Red Sox had the second-longest streak without being no-hit in the majors, at 3,987 games… a record that was only eclipsed by the A’s own streak.
  • With a 17-2 record and .895 winning percentage, the Red Sox were the most successful team to be no-hit in major-league history. Prior to Saturday’s loss, they averaged 6.4 runs per game and had yet to be shut out by any team in 2018.
  • Since 1908, 46 no-hitters have been pitched against AL East teams: four against the Blue Jays, five against the Rays, eight against the Yankees, 13 against the Red Sox and 16 against the Orioles. Mariners lefty Chris Bosio was the last pitcher to no-hit the Red Sox, a feat he accomplished almost exactly 25 years ago on April 22, 1993.