We have the first no-hitter of the 2018 MLB season, and it comes from an unexpected source; 26-year-old Oakland Athletics’ lefty Sean Manaea. Manaea took the mound at home for the 9-11 A’s Saturday against the super-hot Boston Red Sox (17-2 heading into the game) and ace Chris Sale, but he wound up winning that pitching duel, striking out 10 and walking just two over nine innings in a 3-0 win. Here’s the final out:
Manaea no-hits the Red Sox! pic.twitter.com/JqVhr1dTvI
— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 22, 2018
And he had a great reaction:
Sean Manaea's reaction to throwing a no hitter: "Holy sh***!" pic.twitter.com/2XjZfXBwSd
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) April 22, 2018
Manaea’s teammates had quite the post-game celebration for him, first hitting him with a shaving cream pie and then dumping two coolers (one of water and one of Gatorade) over him:
— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) April 22, 2018
And this was a very impressive no-hitter. As MLB director of baseball research and development Daren Willman noted, the Red Sox didn’t make much contact off Manaea:
Sean Manaea only allowed 2 batted balls with a hit probability greather than 50%. The hardest hit ball off him was Hanley's last batted ball of the game.
— Daren Willman (@darenw) April 22, 2018
And they’re a team that’s historically been very hard to post no-hitters against:
Sean Manaea no-hits the Red Sox. Boston hadn't been no-hit since April 22, 1993, the 2nd-longest active streak in MLB entering today.
He's the 3rd pitcher in Athletics history with 10+ strikeouts in a no-hitter, joining Dave Stewart (12 in 1990) and Catfish Hunter (11 in 1968). pic.twitter.com/2euzpJlWBh
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 22, 2018
This is Manaea’s third season in the majors, and he’s been quite impressive. He posted a 3.86 ERA in 2016 and a 4.37 last year (going 12-10 along the way), and had a ERA of 1.63 heading into this game. While his FIP has been higher (4.08, 4.10 and 4.12 respectively), he’s definitely shown some solid stuff for the A’s. And this was a remarkable performance from him, and one few probably expected against the on-fire Red Sox. But he came out dealing Saturday, and posted the 12th no-hitter in A’s franchise history in the process.