Last night, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Tyler Gilbert became the first pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw an official no-hitter in his first start. Gilbert went the full nine innings, striking out 10 batters and walking one, as the Diamondbacks beat the Cleveland Indians 9-0.
The Diamondbacks just saw their first no-hitter of the season, and it was thrown by their top draft pick, Tyler Gilbert. The right-hander came in to replace Brandon McCarthy, who had started the day on the disabled list, and led the Arizona bullpen through the game unscathed. It was the second no-no of the year in Tucson, joining the Rockies’ Tyler Chatwood, who threw his no-hitter on September 1.
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Tyler Gilbert, who was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft just eight months ago, made his big league debut on Saturday night with a no-hitter.
He did it by blanking a star-studded San Diego Padres lineup while pitching for a last-place club, resulting in one of the year’s most unlikely sports tales.
Gilbert, 27, became just the fourth pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter in his debut. Since the turn of the century, just two people have done it, the most recent being Bobo Holloman in 1953.
“Amazing,” Gilbert said after a 7-0 win at Chase Field in Phoenix. “It hasn’t really struck me yet, but it’s very amazing,” she says.
Gilbert’s last strikeout came against Tommy Pham, who had taken three walks and was the Padres’ lone baserunner. Gilbert’s first pitch, his 102nd of the night, was a cutter out over the plate that went straight into D-backs center fielder Ketel Marte’s glove. It was the majors’ ninth no-hitter this season, matching a record established in 1884, the first year when overhand pitching was permitted.
The Philadelphia Phillies selected Gilbert, a 6-foot-3 left-handed pitcher, in the sixth round of the 2015 draft out of Southern California. He was sold to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020, then plucked from their system by the Arizona Diamondbacks in December. In 521/3 Triple-A innings in 2021, he had a 3.44 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 19 walks.
Tyler Gilbert became the first pitcher in the major leagues since 1953 to throw a no-hitter in his debut start. USA TODAY Sports/Joe Camporeale
In the year 2020, Gilbert did not participate in organized baseball. Gilbert spent his summer pitching bullpens to an old high school coach and performing electrical work with his father to make ends meet when the COVID-19 epidemic shut down the minor league season.
Gilbert said, “I’d rather be doing this than pulling wires.” “I don’t want to offend you, Dad.”
On Saturday, Gilbert’s father was in the audience, visibly upset as the game proceeded. Gilbert’s mother, girlfriend, and parents were all there.
Gilbert’s manager, Torey Lovullo, may have been the most anxious person in the stadium, since he intended to restrict Gilbert to 85 pitches. Lovullo started to believe a no-hitter could be feasible in the fifth inning. After the sixth inning, D-backs bullpen coach Mike Fetters addressed Lovullo, saying, “If you’re thinking about making a hasty decision, keep in mind that this is his first big league start.”
“That piqued my interest,” Lovullo remarked. “I began looking at things a little differently, and that’s when I realized I’d definitely go over 105 pitches.”
This season, Gilbert hadn’t pitched more than six innings or thrown more than 93 pitches in the minors. Gilbert pitched in relief after being called up to the big leagues by the D-backs on Aug. 3, having only thrown two innings or less in his previous three outings out of the bullpen. However, as Saturday’s game progressed into the latter innings, Lovullo spoke with many individuals in the dugout about Gilbert’s condition, including representatives of the team’s medical department. Lovullo took solace in Gilbert’s calm demeanor and the fact that his music kept playing.
Then, in the eighth inning, it all changed.
By the time he completed the seventh inning, Gilbert had already thrown 88 pitches. He got three outs on just three pitches in the eighth inning, a feat he’d done only three previous times all season. As he returned for the ninth, he had a strange feeling of calm.
“It was strange,” Gilbert said. “I wasn’t nervous in the least, although I think I should have been.”
Gilbert struck out Trent Grisham and pinch hitter Ha-Seong Kim before getting Pham to record the final out for the D-backs’ third no-hitter (not counting the seven-inning no-hitter Madison Bumgarner threw against the Atlanta Braves earlier this season). Gilbert’s first no-hitter occurred on the 50th anniversary of Bob Gibson’s no-hitter, and it was the first of his professional career.
Gilbert confessed to being anxious before the game, but the most of the pressure was relieved when the D-backs scored five runs in the first inning against Joe Musgrove, who had pitched a no-hitter himself in April.
Gilbert used his cutter to counteract his two-seam fastball. He only struck out five batters. Ten of the balls he faced went at least 95 miles per hour, one of which was caught up against the fence to start the eighth inning. Nonetheless, it was a no-hitter — and a much-needed bright light for a D-backs club that had the poorest record in the league at 38-80.
“This year, I don’t believe we’ve had a lot of luck,” Lovullo said. “We were at the right position at the right moment when it all came together in a particular manner, whether it was five, ten, or fifteen balls struck at that speed. And he created games. It was also a no-hitter.”
The Diamondbacks had never seen a no-hitter before, let alone a perfect game, so imagine their indigestion when Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer did just that on April 25. Over at the MLB.com boxscore, they let readers know that Gilbert was the one to end the streak, with a 1-1 pitch and foot it to the mound for a second no-hit effort.. Read more about tyler gilbert no hitter and let us know what you think.
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