Matt Garza throws first no-hitter in Rays' history, fifth of 2010 season

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UPDATE: He did it! Matt Garza just completed the first no-hitter in Rays’ history and the fifth no-hitter of the season.

He needed 120 pitches to do it, striking out six and walking just one. Because of a double-play ball in the second inning, he faced the minimum.

Now that the Rays have a no-hitter, that leaves the Padres and the Mets as the only teams in MLB without a no-no.

9:34 PM: Garza has a no-hitter through eight innings. He got Miguel Cabrera to line out to left, Brennan Boesch to strike out looking and Ryan Raburn swinging. A chance at history awaits him in the ninth.

9:21 PM: Turn on your televisions, people.

Matt Garza currently has a no-hitter through seven innings against the Tigers. He has walked one and struck out three.

Believe it or not, Max Scherzer had a no-hitter of his own through five innings, however it was broken up with two outs in the bottom of the sixth on a grand slam by Matt Joyce just inside of the right field foul pole. I’m sure something like that has happened before, but geez. Moments like that are why we keep coming back for more. The Rays currently lead this one 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh.

We’ll soon see if Garza can hang on for the first no-hitter in franchise history and the fifth no-no of the 2010 season. Stay tuned.

Minor League Baseball had its worst attendance in 14 years

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Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.

Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.

All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.