Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza's no-hitter impresses nearly everyone — except his son

ST. PETERSBURG — The celebratory drinks with some teammates were fun, the volume of congratulatory messages enough to send his iPhone into electronic shock, the wish-I-was-there tears from his wife Serina touching.

But the moment Matt Garza will remember most after making history Monday night by throwing the first no-hitter in Rays franchise history came from his phone call with 8-year-old son Matthew.

"My son is the funniest kid ever," Garza said. "When I threw against the Marlins, he told me, 'Man, dad, you suck — one inning, seven runs. I could do that.' … I call him last night and I said, 'Matthew, did you watch the game?' He's like yeah. I said, 'Nine innings, no hits. Who sucks now?' And he goes, 'You're still not an All-Star.'

"He's a chip off the old block. It was good though. He's a competitor, and that's the way I like it. He keeps you grounded. He's like, you're not the best yet. So don't start floating away yet. I think that was the coolest thing, because for me it's him getting into baseball and watching it."

The rest of the crowd wasn't as tough, as Garza was widely lauded and feted.

He got the final game ball from Ben Zobrist, who caught the last out, and the lineup card from manager Joe Maddon. The Hall of Fame will display Garza's cap (after the season) and a ball from the game. Commissioner Bud Selig sent a letter of congratulations that will be presented today.

Garza — who wasn't aware of any calls from the late-night talk shows or the Popeye's chicken folks — didn't plan to keep any other souvenirs of the night.

"Just the memory," he said.

That part was still a bit fuzzy when he left the stadium and went out for a while with a few teammates. It was only when he got home (balloons taped to the door by a neighbor), plopped down in front of the TV and clicked on some of his favorites — That '70s Show and George Lopez's Lopez Tonight — that it hit him what he had accomplished.

"Out of nowhere, I just went, 'I threw a no-hitter,' " Garza said. "I was pumped, and just had a big sigh of relief."

He wasn't the only one relieved by the end of the night. Official scorer Bill Mathews, faced with the potential of a double no-hitter into the sixth inning, said it would have been a difficult call had leftfielder Carl Crawford not caught Miguel Cabrera's eighth-inning line drive after losing it in the lights.

"As his knees buckled, so did mine," Mathews said. "But he lost the ball late, and in my opinion it would have been an error."

Garza's wife and three kids had gone home to northern California for the All-Star break and long post-break trip and, though Matt encouraged Serina to return for the game, she planned to come back to Tampa Bay on Tuesday while the kids stayed to go camping with Garza's parents.

"She was upset, she said don't talk about it 'til she gets here today," Garza said. "She was crying last night, she was (upset) that she wasn't here. I was a little upset too that she wasn't here, but hopefully I can do it again."

The first time was monumental enough, the first no-hitter in the Rays' 13-season, 2,039-game history (and it marked their 500th home win).

Among the more noteworthy points, shared by the Rays, ESPN and the Elias Sports Bureau:

• Garza was the fifth pitcher in the past 50 years to face the minimum 27 batters in a non-perfect game.

• The Rays were the first team since 1991 to be involved in both sides of a no-hitter in the same season, as the Orioles, White Sox and Expos were then. The Rays also were the third team in major-league history to be involved with three in the same season.

• The Rays' three hits were the fewest by a team winning a no-hitter since the 1998 Reds also had three as Tom Browning posted all zeroes.

• It was the first no-hitter by a pitcher named Matt, the first on a July 26 and the first with umpire Ed Hickox behind the plate.

fast facts

Be a part of it

Weren't among the 17,009 at the Trop on Monday? The Rays are offering the chance for a piece of history, including an unsold ticket from Monday with purchase of a $250 admission to the Aug. 15 Joe Maddon Summer Social event that benefits the Rays Baseball Foundation. See for details.

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza's no-hitter impresses nearly everyone — except his son 07/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:43am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.