Tag:Matt Garza
Posted on: September 3, 2010 10:02 pm

Garza (sort of) backs up tough talk

Matt Garza
Matt Garza was probably just psyching himself up with his promise to put a beatdown on the Orioles on Friday, but his comments to the St. Petersburg Times definitely got the attention of people wondering whether he would back up his words.

Garza got roughed up the last time he faced Baltimore, and vowed there would be no repeat Friday.

"I owe them a lot of payback for the type of outing I had last time against them," he said. "They had back-to-back-to-back [homers]. So I'm going to make them feel really uncomfortable in the box. So they know, this [stuff] doesn't happen, so don't get used to it.

"I'm going to go in there, hair on fire, like I have been and go after them and say, 'Hey, you got me the first time, well I'm going to shove it down your throat this time.' "

So Garza was, what, angry that the Orioles tried hard? Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said he wasn't too riled up by the smack talk. He even seemed somewhat amused.

"I wouldn't go that far," he told reporters. "It's not bragging if you can back it up."

So did he? Garza's line: 5 2/3 innings, 5 H, 1 ER, 3K, 3BB

Eh, not exactly "shoving it down their throats," but not bad.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 30, 2010 2:02 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 3:45 pm

Garza gives teammates whiskey

As is custom after a no-hitter, the starting pitcher buys teammates a gift to commemorate the occasion and serve as a thank you. Usually, that's in the form of an engraved (and expensive) watch. Garza, however, went in another direction.

"Becoming the first Rays player ever to pitch a no-hitter has been a great experience," Garza said according to the St. Petersburg Times . "I really couldn’t have done it without the support from my team. To thank them for their nine innings of hard work, I decided to give them a personalized embroidered bag and bottle of Crown Royal Black.  That way, we can all celebrate together when enjoying the new whiskey."

Here's hoping the team drinks this on an offday...

Unless Garza takes inspiration from David Wells and tries to throw a perfect game while drunk .

Matt Garza's whisky
Photo courtesy St. Petersburg Times of Evan Longoria's gift.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: Matt Garza, Rays
Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:00 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:01 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

Matt Garza With my DVR all ready and fired up to watch Mad Men on Monday night, I had to tell the wife we couldn't watch it right then, instead I pickd up the iPad and watched the last two innings of Matt Garza's no-hitter with Don Draper paused in the background.

The no-hitter was the first in Tampa Bay Rays history and the fifth of this magical season of the pitcher. These things are special, unless you're Mike Freeman. My colleague here at CBS Sports is bored by no-hitters and he's just not going to take it anymore .

Apparently five is the threshold to mediocrity -- five of 1,487 games played so far this season have finished with a pitcher not allowing a hit to the opposing team. Yep, 0.3362 percent is just too darn much to feel goosebumps.

Those odds, roughly one in 300, is as common as the Cubs winning this year's World Series, according to one line. Anyone taking that bet?

Freeman write that it's "difficult to dispute that no-hitters are losing their uniqueness." Did he write this in 1991? That may have been the case after 14 no-hitters in two seasons, but then there was just one in 1992.

To say that the five so far this season are the start of a trend is to be short-sighted and ignore the cyclical nature of history. Following those 14 no-hitters in the first two seasons of the 90s, there were 14 no-hitters in the next seven seasons. Or that perhaps the five we've seen this season make up for only one no-hitter thrown between June 2003 and September 2006.

While he's ignoring history, Freeman writes, "mostly average pitchers (not all but mostly) are throwing so many this season."

The no-hitter has always been about the greatness of a pitcher on that one day, not the pitcher's overall greatness. It's a small sample size, nine innings in a career of thousands.

In baseball's history, there have been 268 recognized no-hitters, with just 50 of those thrown by Hall of Fame pitchers (18.7 percent). If you take out Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters, it's only 16.5 percent. I'll even be kind and add Bert Blyleven, Randy Johnson (two no-hitters) and Roy Halladay as future Hall of Famers, that percentage goes up to just 19.8 percent. So in history, one out of five no-hitters is thrown by a future Hall of Famer.

This year, one no-hitter has been thrown by someone who has a good shot at Cooperstown (Halladay -- although it's too early to mention the C word either way with the 26-year old Ubaldo Jimenez.)

If you look at 1991, five of the seven no-hitters were thrown by just one pitcher. Of those, one was thrown by a future Hall of Famer, Ryan. The other four were by two pitchers with very good careers (Bret Saberhagen and Dennis Martinez), a rookie (Wilson Alverez) and a pitcher who would win 37 career games (Tommy Greene). How different is that from this year's class of Halladay, Jimenez, Garza, Dallas Braden and Edwin Jackson?

History shows pitchers such as Hod Eller, Tom Phoebus, Bob Moose, Ed Halicki, John Montesfusco, Juan Nieves and Bud Smith are as likely to toss a no-no as Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Warren Spahn or Bob Gibson.

Those guys have no-hitters, heck, Steve Busby has two, as do Don Wilson, Bill Stoneman and Virgil Trucks, but Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Steve Carlton, Lefty Grove, Whitey Ford, Dizzy Dean, Mordecai Brown and Grover Cleveland Alexander didn't throw one.

The no-hitter is still unpredictable and takes a special mix of luck and skill. It is -- and always will be -- special, whether someone bothers to re-tweet the accomplishment or not. It's even enough to put off watching Joan Holloway -- and that's saying something.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 27, 2010 5:21 pm

That's the (fake) ticket

The Rays are the latest team to capitalize on the ridiculous new trend of selling people mementos of an experience they didn't have.

Fans attending "Joe Maddon's Summer Social," part of a charity event on August 15, will receive a game ticket from Monday night's Matt Garza no-hitter. A game ticket. Printed after the game was played. And thus not a ticket to anything except maybe lying to your grandchildren someday.

There were 17,009 tickets sold for Monday's game (attendance was even lower due to season ticket no-shows), and the capacity is around 45,000, so that's 28,000 people who can own a piece of fake history.

At least in this case the tickets are being distributed to help promote a charitable event. The Marlins took a much more unseemly route after Roy Halladay's perfect game against them on May 29, selling the unpurchased tickets at face value. Making a cash grab to take advantage of your own team's failure? That's just sad.

The White Sox also are in the fake ticket club, selling "souvenir" unused tickets from Mark Buehrle's perfect game last season. But at least they were selling them as souvenirs of something one of their own players accomplished.

Does this seem crazy to anyone else? It's one thing to collect used, actual tickets from historically significant games. But to manufacture "pieces of history" that didn't exist when the history happened, it feels like it cheapens the event.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 26, 2010 10:18 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:32 pm

Years of the pitcher

Matt Garza The no-hitter Monday night by the Rays' Matt Garza was the fifth in the majors this season, joining perfect games by Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay and no-hitters by Edwin Jackson and Ubaldo Jimenez. At total of eight pitchers have taken a no-hitter into the ninth inning.

Of course, the elephant in the room remains the perfect game that wasn't, thrown by the Tigers' Armando Galarraga but erased by a bad call on the final play on June 2.

But officially it's five in 2010, one shy of the most thrown in a season in the modern era (there were eight in 1884). And we still have more than two months remaining in the season. Here are the top seasons for no-hitters:

SIX NO-HITTERS -- 1908, 1915, 1969, 1990

FIVE NO-HITTERS -- 1962, 1968, 1973, 1991, 2010

Also of note, Garza's was the first no-hitter thrown by the Rays (who had been on the other end of two this season and four since 2002). That leaves only two franchises without a no-hitter, the Mets and Padres.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 26, 2010 9:14 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 10:32 pm

Rays' slam breaks up no-hitter

You could almost hear the computer servers firing up at Elias Sports Bureau a few minutes ago, trying to figure out whether a no-hitter was broken up by a grand slam for the first time.

In Tampa, the Rays' Matt Garza and the Tigers' Max Scherzer took dueling no-hitters into the sixth inning. In the bottom of the inning, Ben Zobrist walked, Carl Crawford reached on catcher's interference and Evan Longoria walked to load the bases. With two outs and a full count, Jays designated hitter Matt Joyce homered to right field, breaking up the no-hit bid and putting the Rays up 4-0.

Garza allowed just a walk through seven. Follow the game on the CBSSports.com GameTracker here, and we'll let you know when we figure out whether this has ever happened before.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: Garza finishes off the no-hitter, allowing just the one walk. It's the first no-hitter in Rays history and the fifth in the majors this season.

UPDATE: Baseball blog wezen-ball.com (reporting via Twitter ) has found another no-hitter broken up in the sixth by a grand slam. On July 23, 1990, Dickie Thon of the Phillies broke up a no-hit bid by Frank Viola of the Mets with a grand slam with one out. Viola did not have a shutout at the time, however, as the Phillies had scored on a groundout two batters earlier. Here is the box score and play-by-play of that game.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com