Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hard Luck Garza and 2009 Topps Heritage Collection Progress...

Not all great pitchers have great records, just ask Jarrod Washburn (5-6, 3.08) of the Seattle Mariners. It seems that unless he throws a complete game, he can’t buy a win. He missed the All Star team even though he is fifth in the American League in ERA. Cliff Lee (4-9, 3.47) of Cleveland is in the same boat. Last night in Saint Pete, there was a match-up of two guys who fall into that category. Coming into the game Dallas Braden of Oakland was 6-7, despite having the 6th best ERA in the AL with 3.13. Matt Garza was 6-6 despite being in the top 15 in the league in ERA all year. One of these guys had to come out with a win. Last night, that guy was Dallas Braden. Garza took the loss, his seventh of the year. He had a shutout going into the 7th inning, striking out 7 (to give him 95, good for 9th in the AL) with Tampa Bay leading 2-0. With one out and one on he served up a home run to reserve outfielder Rajai Davis. He issued another hit before being lifted in favor of Randy Choate. Choate, the left-handed specialist, came in to face Adam Kennedy who hit a fastball out to give the A’s a 4-2 lead. Garza, who was responsible for the runner on first, saw his ERA fall to 3.73, still good enough for 17th in the league. It was a turn back the clock night at the Trop, since the Rays have only existed since 1998, they couldn’t turn the clock back too far. The Rays became the Devil Rays (wearing 1998 jerseys-Ben Zobrist shown in an AP photo) and they played like it, at least the bullpen did. Dan Wheeler, who was a Devil Ray from ’99-’01, Grant Balfour and Randy Choate combined to give up 4 runs in an inning and a third. The final score was Oakland 7, Tampa Bay 2, thus ending the Rays winning streak and killing Garza’s chance at a winning record. That’s just the way this season has gone for Garza so far this year.
In an amazing attempt at segue to discuss my 2009 Heritage set’s progress, with the Garza card shown here… Thanks to 4 awesome bloggers and some help from Frank from Ryan’s Sportscards, my local hobby shop, my ’09 set is 72% complete. The base card portion is getting close, but I am still 60 cards away on the short prints. After spending over $1,000.00 in each of the last two years on Heritage cards and still not finishing the sets, I decided this year I would purchase no more than 65 packs (about $200.) and call for help from the blogging community. Quite a few of you have answered the call. Most recently help has come from Adam of Thoughts and Sox, Justin from Is This a Wasteland? No its Tampa Bay Sports (awesome blog title by the way!), Chris from Nachos Grande and my buddy Ed from Roll out the Barrel. Four fine blogs, four very helpful bloggers. Like I said, with their help, I am 72 percent of the way there. What else do I need? Well, I am glad you asked, the list is right here: 35,38,74,79,91,96,102,105,106,111,127,128,131,154,155,156,162,172,193,198,206,207,208,212,
367,369,372,376,381,395,396,402,412,425,426,427,428,429,430,431,432, 433,434,435,436,437,438,439,440,441,442,443,444,445,446,447,450,451,452,453,456,
481,482,483,484,485,486,487, 488,489,491,492,493,494,496,497,499 and 500.
(this list has been updated, 7/13/09)
I know everybody is completely obsessed with Allen & Ginter right about now, but if there are any other Heritage collectors out there, please help a blogger out! The goal is to finish the set before the 2009 World Series. I have a couple hundred doubles to trade and I still have thousands of the last 2 years. I have a few chromes and refractors, too. My pack count is at 46, so I can still pick up a few more, but I see myself making too big a dent in it alone. My email addy is bacontowne at yahoooooo, so drop me a line please!
Go Rays!!! Troll out.
1.Oh, I never got to recap Jeff Nieman’s amazing performance the other night. He pitched his second shutout of the year (tying him with Zack Greinke for League lead), raising his record to 8-4 with a 3.73 ERA. Not too shabby for a number 5 starter who barely made the rotation.
2. Also, hats off to Dallas Braden, way too good a pitcher for a losing record, 7-7 looks better than 6-7.
3. All my Heritage wantlists can be viewed at

1 comment:

  1. speaking of pitchers, look up stats for Jair Jurrjens and Javy Vazquez. Particularly their run support. ouch.