THE GOOD: The Garza Complex. When he is on, is there a better pitcher in baseball? In fact, when he is on, he is as close to Pedro Martinez in his prime, as you will ever see. mid-90’s with nasty movement and pinpoint control. Unhittable…Dirtbag Cometh. MVP!-MVP!-MVP!…Michel Hernandez. How safe is Shawn Riggans’ job? Hernandez is 6-14 and obviously Matt Garza likes throwing to him.
THE BAD: Timing. What inning did Matt Garza lose his perfect game? That would be the 7th. Now check this headline. And Marc Lancaster does not get a pass for his TweetJinx. We know you guys have a job to do, but would it kill you to dance around the wording a little better?…Jason Bartlett. Barty, who left Wednesday night’s game with a sore hamstring, was in the lineup but was noticeably limping.
THE TELLING: Matt Garza has had a few of these dominating performances with the Rays. We will say it again. If a Rays pitcher is going to throw a no-hitter, it will be Garza. And we will now add that if Garza ever throws a no-hitter, Dioner Navarro will not be behind the plate. Three times now, Garza has taken a 1-hitter or 2-hitter deep into a game. Each time, Navarro was on the bench…Both teams did not arrive in Florida last night until about 4:00am.
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Matt Garza and Evan Longoria. Don’t get used to this, but we couldn’t pull ourselves to not honor Longoria. Besides as big a win as last night deserves two Sunbursts.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe takes a look at the transformation of Matt Garza from the doghouse to bulldog. [Boston Globe]
Garza fights himself sometimes. “When he wakes up in the morning he’s amped up,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “So the key is to get him to stick to a game plan. That’s what he did last night.”
- Red Sox Monster calls last night’s game, the worst loss of the season. [Red Sox Monster]
- Joey Johnston takes a look at the long road Michel Hernandez took from fleeing Cuba, to the biggest night of his baseball career. [Tampa Tribune]
- Andy Sonnanstine feels that he is throwing as well as ever, but that he just needs to fight through the struggles. [St. Pete Times]
- One player that is missing from this series is Rocco Baldelli, who says The Trop was always good to him. [Tampa Tribune]
- Alden Gonzalez updates the rehabs for Shawn Riggans and Chad Bradford. Bradford is likely to throw batting practice on Sunday. [Rays Plays]
- John Romano does not see any quick fixes and feels the only thing that will get the Rays out of last place is patience, something the Rays excel at. [St. Pete Times]
- Around the Majors hands out some hardware for the month of April, giving the AL MVP to Evan Longoria. [Around the Majors]
- Rays the Stakes provides the reasoning behind the players they chose for the Tampa Bay Rays Trade Pool. [Rays the Stakes]
- In a slight modification to protocol, the Top 177 Devil Rays ever is now a Friday feature and will include 4 players each week. Up this week are #112-109. It is always fun if you try to name the players before looking at the names. [Bugs and Cranks]