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Congratulations, Sean Manaea!

Manaea

Sean Manaea pitched the first no-hitter of the 2018 season last night against the Boston Red Sox. He struck out ten batters and only walked two. Marcus Semien score all three Oakland runs, crossing the plate after doubles by Jed Lowrie in the first inning and Stephen Piscotty in the third, and hitting a solo home run in the fifth.

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It has already been a long season for Reds fans

We didn’t expect much, really. The front office’s inexplicable refusal to bolster the pitching staff during the offseason, even with quality pitchers available, let fans know that 2018 would be a lost cause. There are a lot of promising young arms, but little experience. The sad truth is that the offense is strong enough to compete, but the pitchers can’t keep the score close enough. Through the first seven games, opponents have already scored 44 runs.

Cincinnati won their second game of the season last night, thanks in large part to one of my favorite players on the team, Eugenio Suarez.

Suarez

Suarez is a fun player to watch, and has really blossomed as a part of the Reds’ infield. He finished last season with a 3.2 WAR, swatting 26 home runs and driving in 82 runs. I thought he had a real shot at the All-Star Game last year, but the Reds were kind of terrible and the powers that be probably couldn’t justify putting three Cincinnati guys on the roster. Maybe this year will be his year. He hit his second homer of 2018 last night, and drove in five runs in the Reds’ 7-4 victory over the Bucs.

I made a custom design last night during some downtime. I like the way it turned out, but don’t think I would make a full set with this design. It would look better as a limited insert I think. If I actually made physical copies, I would probably want a textured front, similar to the Upper Deck Masterpieces set. So I played a little with a texture filter, and voilà…

Suarez Sandstone

Let me know what you think. I’ll probably play around with several different custom designs this year, unless something really screams at me.

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