Matt Garza threw the first no-hitter in Tampa Bay Rays history, seven years ago today.
The Rays were facing the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field on Monday, July 26, 2010, and the game was actually a double no-hitter into the sixth inning.
The Tigers’ Max Scherzer took the mound, no-no intact, but loaded the bases on two walks and a catcher’s interference call, giving designated hitter Matt Joyce a shot at breaking the 0-0 deadlock. The Tampa native jumped on a 3-2 pitch and slammed the fastball over the right-field fence in grand fashion for the game’s first hit.
“Joyce hit it out, and everybody’s ecstatic,” Garza told me in a 2015 interview. “At that point I knew he had a no-hitter going, and I was like ‘Oh, OK. Whew. We got some runs. Let’s go.’”
But Garza hadn’t yet realized he also had a no-hitter going. The Tigers’ lone base runner reached on a second-inning walk.
Reenergized by his newfound 4-0 lead, Garza retired the next 12 batters and teammates rushed to the mound to celebrate the first no-hitter in Tampa Bay Rays history.
“It was awesome, not only for the franchise but for myself,” he said. “It was my first one ever. Words really can’t explain the emotion.”
The Cleveland Indians’ Dick Bosman threw a no-hitter against the Oakland Athletics, 43 years ago today.
On Friday, July 19, 1974, at Cleveland Stadium, Bosman no-hit the A’s for a 4-0 win. He would have had a perfect game if not for his own error. With two outs in the fourth, the slow-footed Sal Bando dribbled a swinging bunt down the third base line. Bosman fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw pulled first baseman Tommy McCraw off the bag, and Bando had his base.
Bosman walked none and struck out four on the night.
Edwin Jackson nearly made San Diego Padres history in his first start for the club, one year ago today.
Jackson, who threw a no-hitter for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010, took a no-no against the San Francisco Giants into the seventh inning on July 17, 2016, before losing it on a Conor Gillaspie three-run homer. Jackson walked five batters in the contest before serving up the dinger.
Six years earlier, the German-born journeyman pitcher needed 149 pitches to no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays for a 1-0 victory at Tropicana Field. The 26-year-old right-hander told Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch that it would take a hit to get him off the mound, and he completed the no-no by retiring Jason Bartlett on a groundout on pitch No. 149. We added him to our No-hitters … before they were Padres page.
Jackson’s effort marked the Padres deepest no-hit effort since May 5, 2016, when Colin Rea went 6⅔ innings against the New York Mets. That bid was ended by Yoenis Céspedes, who singled during a shift to the exact spot where the second baseman is normally stationed with two outs in the 7th inning.
The father of no-hitters, George Washington Bradley, threw baseball’s first official no-no, 141 years ago today.
On Saturday, July 15, 1876, the 5-foot-10½-inch, lanky St. Louis Brown Stockings right-hander worked his way down the Hartford Dark Blues lineup during a one-hour-50-minute contest, striking out three batters while walking one. The Brown Stockings’ defense was of little help, committing eight errors, but St. Louis won the game 2-0.
Two other pitchers — both Hall of Famers — also through no-nos on this date.
On Monday, July 15, 1901, the New York Giants’ Christy Mathewson no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals for a 5-0 win at Robison Field. It was Mathewson’s first of two no-hitters.
And on Sunday, July 15, 1973, Nolan Ryan threw the second of his major-league record seven no-hitters. Ryan, pitching for the California Angels, no-hit the Detroit Tigers for a 6-0 victory at Tiger Stadium.
Ramón Martínez threw a no-hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers, 22 years ago.
Martínez no-hit the Florida Marlins on July 14, 1995 for a 7-0 victory at Dodger Stadium. The 6-foot-4 right-handed fastballer struck out eight and walked just one, and he didn’t throw a single breaking ball after the third inning.
Ramón’s brother Pedro never got an official no-hitter, but Pedro did pitch nine perfect innings against the San Diego Padres a month earlier in 1995 before losing his no-no in extra innings.
The Houston Astros’ Larry Dierker no-hit the Montreal Expos, 41 years ago today.
On Friday, July 9, 1976, Dierker walked four and struck out eight at the Astrodome to lead Houston to a 6-0 no-hit victory. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound righthander from Hollywood, California, told the Associated Press’ B.F. Kellum that he figured if he was going to pitch a no-no, it would have come early in his career.
“I didn’t think I had the stuff to pitch a no-hitter,” Dierker told the AP. “It’s hard to believe.”
Dierker nearly threw a perfect game in 1966. In a Sept. 30 game against the New York Mets that remained scoreless until the bottom of the ninth, Dierker took the mound and immediately gave up double to Mets’ third baseman Eddie Bressoud. That set the wheels in motion, as Dierker threw a wild pitch to Ron Hunt (pinch-hitting for left fielder Danny Napoleon) allowing Bressoud to reach third and then served up a pitch that resulted in a Hunt walk-off single to right.