In the first start and only fourth career appearance of Arizona Diamondbacks Tyler Gilbert’s major league career he dominated against the San Diego Padres with a no-hitter.
2021 has been the year of the no-hitter. In the first two months it seemed there was a no-hitter every week as they reached six by May 20. It took just over a month for it to happen again as the Cubs tossed a combined no-no on June 25. After just over a month and a half Gilbert recorded the eighth of the season which just happened to tie the most in any season ever which was last accomplished in 1884.
The insane number of no-hitters this season does not take away from just how special of a performance this was for Gilbert.
An Unlikely Performance
Gilbert has bounced around between teams over the past several years. He has spent the majority of the time in the minors as a reliever, but when the DBacks got him they converted him to a starter. His confidence was high this season and he got the chance to prove that on Saturday night.
He made it look almost too easy against a team that has the nickname Slam Diego because of the number of Grand Slams they hit. It took him only 102 pitches including a span where he retired six straight on 10 pitches. The definition of efficient.
After striking out the first two in the ninth he was forced to get Tommy Pham for the final out. Normally he is not the hardest guy to get out, but this game he was. Of the three walks Gilbert allowed, Pham was the recipient of all three. Pham did not feel like waiting around for another walk as he laced the first pitch he saw to the center fielder for the final out.
It bears repeating that this was his first career start at the major league level. As expected this is not a common feat, it has only occurred four times prior. The last time this happened was by Bobo Holloman of the St. Louis Browns on May 6, 1953.
Even crazier, this is the first time a DBacks pitcher has thrown a no-hitter at their home ballpark Chase Field. The Stadium opened in 1998 and yet St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jose Jimenez in 1999 was the only one to throw a no-no at Chase Field.
Additionally, he became only the third pitcher in DBacks history to throw a no-no. The other two were Randy Johnson in 2004 and Edwin Jackson in 2010.
Tyler Gilbert’s performance, although not uncommon this season, has been a rarity in so many different regards.
As stated earlier this was the record tying eighth no-hitter of the season in the MLB. Now the question becomes will baseball fans witness the record setting ninth with only a month and a half remaining in the season?
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