Major League Baseball and the MLBPA just announced that the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals will play a special regular season game during the 2017 Little League World Series on Sunday, August 2. It will be called “The Little League Classic” and will be played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Pirates will be the home team.
The game, which takes place during the Little League World Series, will air nationally on ESPN at 7pm that night. ESPN, of course, broadcasts the Little League World Series. This is what they call “synergy.”
The game will, sadly, not be played with pitching rubber 46 feet from home plate or a 225-foot outfield fence. Rather, it will be played at BB&T Ballpark — which you may know better as Bowman Field — which is home of the Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters of the NY-Penn League. They will be renovating the park for the big leaguers. On the day of the game, the Major Leaguers will attend Little League World Series games and then, later that night, the Little Leaguers and their families will go to the Pirates-Cards game.
This is pretty cool. It’d be cooler if they mic’d up Clint Hurdle, Little League World Series manager-style, so we could hear him when he visits Gerrit Cole or whoever on the mound. Maybe Cole will be a bit teary and Hurdle can say “hey kiddo, I’m proud of you,” as the camera pans to Cole’s mom and dad and stuff.
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.