Facts from Ervin Santana’s no-hitter

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Ervin Santana threw the ninth no-hitter in Angels history.  The others:

Bo Belinsky – May 5, 1962 versus the Orioles
Clyde Wright – July 3, 1970 versus the Athletics
Nolan Ryan – May 15, 1973 versus the Royals
Nolan Ryan – July 15, 1973 versus the Tigers
Nolan Ryan – Sept. 28, 1974 versus the Twins
Nolan Ryan – June 1, 1975 versus the Orioles
Mike Witt – Sept. 30, 1984 versus the Rangers (perfect game)
Mark Langston-Mike Witt – April 11, 1990 versus the Mariners

Of course, the Mets, who debuted one year after the Angels in 1962, still don’t have a single no-hitter.  Maybe things would have turned out differently had they kept that Ryan kid.

– It was the first nine-inning no-hitter in which the pitcher gave up a run since Houston’s Darryl Kile beat the Mets 7-1 on Sept. 8, 1993.

Interestingly enough, the Angels themselves had an eight-inning no-hitter in a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers on June 28, 2008.  Jered Weaver threw the first six innings in that one, giving up an unearned run.  Chad Billingsley shut the Angels out, giving the Dodgers a win in a game in which they were outhit 5-0.

– The win today was Santana’s first in 11 career starts against the Indians.  He had been 0-6 with a 4.98 ERA versus Cleveland.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.