The last time the Red Sox saw Sean Manaea of the Oakland A's, he was being mobbed by his teammates after throwing a no-hitter against Boston.
The good news for the Red Sox in their first time facing the Oakland ace since that no-no is that they touched him up for eight hits and four runs. The bad news is that the A's countered with five runs and nine hits against Rick Porcello, and hung on for an eventual 6-5 win over Boston at Fenway Park last night.
The A's also cranked three solo home runs, with Matt Joyce, Khris Davis and Matt Olson doing the damage. J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers went deep for the Red Sox, but it wasn't enough to prevent Porcello from suffering his first loss of the season, his record now at 5-1. Eduardo Rodriguez tries to get Boston back into the win column tonight in game two of the series. He's undefeated at 3-0 but would love to get his ERA down from the 4.58 mark it sits at now.
The loss drops the Red Sox a half game behind the NY Yankees for first place in the A.L. east with the Yankees idle last night. They take on the Washington Nationals tonight in D.C. with Masahiro Tanaka getting the start for the Yankees against Gio Gonzalez for the Nationals.
The NY Mets were also idle and so was I yesterday when I forgot to include their 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday in the sports report. But maybe it's just as well for Mets fans because it was a game that saw one of the Mets best pitchers Jacob De Grom return from an injured hyperextend elbow only to last just one inning against Philly before exiting the game.
But the early shower for De Grom was not due to re-injuring the arm. He was lifted because he needed 40 pitches to get through the first inning, and astonishingly did not give up a run despite all those pitches thrown. He was taken out as a precaution due to the previous injury and a one hour rain delay that forced the game into a late start.
The Mets host the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at Citi Field, the Blue Jays also getting a day of rest yesterday.
In the NHL playoffs, the Vegas Golden Knights are doing it again, wiping out everything we thought we knew about expansion teams, inaugural clubs that are supposed to pay their dues by being terrible for a few years while stockpiling high draft picks for all the losing they do, and then eventually building a championship team. The Knights are telling the sporting world they just don't feel like waiting that long.
With Vegas' 3-1 win over the Jets in Winnipeg last night, they've grabbed back home ice advantage as the series, now tied at a game apiece, moves back to the desert. Jonathan Marchessault scored twice for Vegas and former Detroit Red Wing star Tomas Tatar also tallied, putting back his own rebound from behind the net after a great pad save by Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. Marchessault and Tatar are just two of the players deemed expendable by other NHL clubs so the newly minted Knights could create a roster in their very first NHL season, and those players are clearly playing with a chip the size of the MGM Grand on their shoulders as a result. The series is far from over but the Knights have no reason to believe they can't be playing for the Stanley Cup in a couple of weeks, which would be a feat no odds maker in Vegas would ever have thought possible when the season began.
The western conference finals feature a long-awaited clash between what are clearly the two best teams in the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, both squads loaded with superstars who can score seemingly at will, so last night's game one in Houston was a bit of a disappointment in how one-sided the outcome as, a 119-106 romp for Golden State powered by 37 points from Kevin Durant, who was a bit cross with his coach that he didn't finish with more.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr had Durant take a seat near the end of the third quarter with the Warriors up big and not wanting to risk injury to one of his star players. But Durant was visibly upset at the mandatory rest and let Kerr know it. As of to prove his point the Rockets did open the fourth quarter with a burst and had the lead down to seven with about five minutes left but the Warriors pulled away on a Klay Thompson three to take game one and home court advantage away from Houston, who got 41 points from James Harden in the losing effort.
Tonight in Boston the Celtics will try to gain a two game advantage on the Cleveland Cavaliers following their 25-point blow-out of LeBron and company in game one, but don't expect that kind of game again tonight. King James is not just the best basketball player on the planet, he's also one of the best students of the game, and just as coaches make adjustments after a bad half of football, James will no doubt have a plan for dealing with the defensive measures the Celtics take against him. If, however, Boston can head off to Cleveland up two games to none, it may be enough to change the assertion LeBron had after game one that he has "zero concern" about where the Cabs stand in the series.