ST. PETERSBURG -- By throwing the first no-hitter in Rays history Monday night, Matt Garza received a great deal of national attention and praise from his friends, family and fans. But there was at least one person who wasn't ready to buy into the hype: Garza's 8-year-old son, Matthew.
Matthew, who watched the entire game in California with Garza's parents, wife and two daughters, called out Garza after the right-hander's disastrous 1 1/3-inning, seven-run outing against the Marlins, saying even he could do that. Garza, hoping to poke fun at his son, called Matthew after the game, mimicking his son's delivery.
"He goes, 'You're still not an All-Star,'" Garza said. "My son is the funniest kid ever. ... He's a chip off the old block. He's a competitor, and that's the way I like it. He keeps you grounded. He's like, 'You're not the best yet, so don't start floating away yet.' I think that was the coolest thing, because for me, it's him getting into baseball and watching it and enjoying it like I do. That was huge."
Having recovered from the initial shock of it all, Garza reflected on many aspects of his no-hitter Tuesday. Garza said the event finally hit home after he got home Monday night, as he was sitting on his couch watching TV.
"I was still groggy last night, still in a daze," Garza said. "Then out of nowhere, I just went, 'I threw a no-hitter.' I was pumped, and it was just a big sigh of relief."
He received the game ball from Ben Zobrist, who caught the final out in right field on a popup by Ramon Santiago, and gave it to equipment and clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland, who will make a display out of it. Manager Joe Maddon also gave the game's lineup card to Westmoreland, who will "have it all dolled up and everything" for Garza. The Hall of Fame will receive a ball from Monday night's game as well as Garza's cap at the end of the season.
The right-hander said he hopes to keep the game ball and his glove, but other than that, he thinks the memories of the night will be enough. Consistent with his team-first comments after the game, Garza remained focused Tuesday on his next start -- Saturday against the Yankees -- and the impact his teammates had on the game, particularly Matt Joyce for his tie-breaking grand slam in the sixth inning.
"It's always a team effort. You can't just do it with one guy. That's why this is a huge team sport," Garza said. "Sometimes you have your hero, but there's always that supporting cast. Last night, I was just part of that supporting cast. The hero was Joyce. We could've kept playing 'til about 12 midnight if we didn't score any runs."
Adam Berry is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.