The folks over at DRaysBay know, if any Tampa pitcher was going to throw stuff like they saw on Monday night against the Tigers, it was going to be Matt Garza. Garza pitched the first no-hitter in Tampa Rays history in their 5-0 win and DRaysBay is drinking it up.
That was simply stunning, and utterly impressive. The Tigers had only two hard hit balls all night. While Garza had only six strikeouts, he did get 13 swinging strikes on his 120 pitches. As has been the trend lately with Kelly Shoppach, he called for fastball after fastball and Garza gladly obliged. Of those 120 pitches, 101 were heaters.
There’s really not much else to say. Matt Garza was nearly perfect tonight. On national television. In a Rays uniform. Of course, he was helped out by the bat of Matt Joyce After being held hitless for 5.2 IP by Max Scherzer, the Rays loaded the bases with Joyce at the plate. After working the count full, Joyce blasted a grand slam into the right field seats, letting Rays fans breathe a big sigh of relief. The Rays also made some fine defensive plays to keep the no-no intact. Ben Zobrist made a running/leaping grab in right field, and Carl Crawford caught a ball in the 8th inning that he nearly lost in the lights.
After being on the wrong end of three no hitters in the past year, it feels FANTASTIC to get to see what it feels like on the other side.