Nobody’s perfect — but the Rays still lose

by Gary Shelton on May 8, 2021

in general

Brosseau broke up a no-hit bid by Manaea./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 4 a.m.

They avoided the perfect game. They avoided the no-hitter. Heck, they even avoided the shutout.

The Tampa Bays, however, could not avoid defeat Friday night in Oakland.

The Rays’ offense was dominated by the A’s Sean Manaea, who whittled their bats even more than most top-flight pitchers. Manaea was perfect through six innings and had a no-hitter through seven. Both faded away, but Seth Brown’s home run to right field with two out in the bottom of the ninth gave the 2-1 win to Oakland. It broke a five-game winning streak for the Rays.

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Manea’s no-hitter was broken up by Mike Brosseau, who played high school baseball with Manaea at Andrean High in Merrillville, Ind.

“He was really good,” Brosseau said. “I thought his change-up looked like the best pitch. He looked like he had a little more ride on his heater than the last time we saw him, but  his change-up was his go-to pitch. It had more depth as opposed to a tailing action which he had in his last start. He was pounding the zone. He got ahead a lot. When he’s got that kind of command and his stuff is riding like it was, he’s tough guy to handle. He was on tonight.”

For the game, Manaea went  7 1/3 innings and gave up two hits and one run (Mike Zunino’s single drove in Brosseau). He struck out 10.

Brosseau acknowledged that after his double broke up the no-hitter in the eighth, the two made eye-contact.

“He made a little eye contact, I’m pretty sure,” Brosseau said. “There was something there, a little smirk. I would hope that if there's a guy he would want to break it up, it would be me…. but I  know he doesn't’ want it to be broken up.”

If you watched, you were probably thinking about viewing a no-hitter. The Rays were, too.

“It’s hard not to (think about) when you get later in the game, in that fifth and sixth inning,” Brosseau said. “You kind of replay the game in your head and you notice there are some zeros on the scoreboard.  I think the best thing to do is not add any more pressure than the game provides.”
Said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash: “When a guys goes six with no hits, it’s going to creep into your mind. I’m glad we didn’t (get no-hit). I think it’s natural just to appreciate how special the guy’s night was going until that point.”

For Hill, it was his third straight impressive start. Hill pitched his best game for the Rays, leaving after six innings of two-hit, shutout baseball. Brown’s homer — his second RBI of the game — came off reliever Jeffrey Springs.

“It looked like he just left a breaking ball up a little in the zone. and Brown didn’t miss it. That’s the way it goes when you’re in those tight ballgames with little room for error. Really liked the way Springy has thrown the ball for us all season, especially as of late. We’ll get him back out there and he’ll be fine. 

The Rays play the A’s again today at 4 p.m. at Oakland Coliseum. Tyler Glasnow will start for the Rays against Frankie Montas.

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