Programming note: Watch the re-air of Sean Manaea's no-hitter Wednesday, April 1, at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports California.
Sean Manaea’s no-hitter against the Red Sox in 2018 was complete with a shaving cream/Gatorade bath, and an infectious smile.
For A's outfielder Chad Pinder, it was a moment that was extra special. Not just because of the opponent -- the mighty Red Sox -- but also because of what he saw from Manaea himself.
“I think everyone in the (Red Sox's) lineup was hitting .340 at the time," Pinder told NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil on Wednesday. "I remember they hadn’t lost many, and they were the team to beat, and they came in hot -- and I just remember Sean being lights out."
“I can obviously remember the last play with Marcus [Semien] the six-four to Jed [Lowrie], and you get to a certain point in the game and you’re like 'All right, let’s just -- everything is focused on defense, we’re up 3-0, let’s just get back out on defense and get the job done, get to the ninth inning.'"
A’s manager Bob Melvin, despite Manaea’s laid back demeanor throughout the entire process, wouldn’t make eye contact with the pitcher from the sixth inning on. Pinder also knew the superstitions behind a you-know-what.
“You don’t say a word, you don’t put it out there, you kind of let it be what it is, and I can remember that last out kind of being like a sigh of relief like ‘All right, he did it.’”
Ten strikeouts and nine innings later, he sure did.