Monday, July 26, 2010

Now It's Just The Mets and Padres

Matt Garza pitched the first no-hitter in Tampa Bay Rays history tonight, and the fifth one of 2010, as the Rays beat the Detroit Tigers, 5-0.

Garza was actually in a great pitcher's duel with Max Scherzer, and he had also not allowed a hit until the sixth inning, when Matt Joyce belted a grand slam to put Tampa Bay on top. The Rays had only three hits in the game themselves.

Garza, "The Human Spitting Machine," walked Brennan Boesch in the second inning, and he was the only Tiger to reach base. He was wiped out in a double play, so Garza faced the minimum in getting the no-no.

This now leaves just the Mets and Padres as the only two MLB teams that have never thrown a no-hitter. It's very strange in the Mets' case, as they have played in very pitcher-friendly parks in their history, especially Shea Stadium, which only had two thrown by opposition teams in its 45-year history. (I was at the last of the two, thrown by Bob Mosse of the Pirates in 1969.)

They've had many excellent pitchers in their history, and many have gone on to toss no-nos with other teams, like Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Mike Scott, Hideo Nomo and of course, Nolan Ryan (7 times). There's a lot of luck in tossing one, and it's always been strange it's never happened for the Mets.

Now, every expansion team from 1977, 1993 and 1998 has thrown one. Only the Padres from the four of 1969 still haven't done it. (The Montreal Expos got their first no-hitter in the ninth game of their existence, in April 1969. And it was by Bill Stoneman.)

It was also the first time a pitcher (Scherzer) lost a no-hitter on a grand slam since Dickie Thon did it to Frank Viola in 1990. (BTW, what team was Viola pitching for at the time? Yep, the Mets.)

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