Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Tyler Gilbert threw a 7-0 win over the San Diego Padres at Chase Field on Saturday night, making it only the fourth pitcher in baseball history to pull off the feat in his first career start.
Gilbert, 27, the 15th various pitcher to start a game for the Diamondbacks this season, made three relief appearances after being named to the majors earlier this month. He gave up several hard-hit balls and walked three clubs, but somehow managed to keep the padres from finding holes.
He’s only the third pitcher in Diamondback history to throw a no-hitter. He joined the Hall of Fame left-handed Randy Johnson in 2004 and right-handed Edwin Jackson in 2010. Johnson’s no-hitter was a perfect game.
“I was aware about the fifth inning,” Gilbert told MLB Network after the game, “but (Padres Hitters) hit balls really hard (defenders) and other guys missed … it was a rush.”
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo agreed with Gilbert’s assessment of the fortunate series of events that led to the historic outcome.
“We were in the right place at the right time and we played the games and it was a no-hitter,” Lovullo said in his post-game interview.
The evening felt like some sort of reversal of the lousy luck the Diamondbacks have suffered this season: The Padres had 10 balls in play at 95 mph or more, including six at 100 mph or higher. All have been converted to outs.
In a way, the game ended appropriately. With two outs in the ninth round, the Padres’ Tommy Pham hit a line drive into midfield that looked like he had a chance for a hit. Instead, it hung up long enough for Ketel Marte to make one attempt to seal it.
Gilbert knocked out each of the first two batter of the ninth, froze the Padres’ Trent Grisham on a cutter above the plate for the first out, and then got Ha-Seong Kim to stand on a border field.
It only took Gilbert three pitches to record three outs in the eighth inning, with the Padres putting each pitch into play at 98 mph or more. Austin Nola flew out just before the wall in the left field; Eric Hosmer missed out on a sharp grounder where Nick Ahmed made a nice pickup before first baseman Pavin Smith got a low throw; and Wil Myers flew to deep right midfield to end the inning.
Gilbert, a former Philadelphia Phillies six-round pick in 2015, was taken over by the Diamondbacks in the Triple A stage of the Rule 5 draft.
Gilbert was the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first career start since Bobo Holloman of the St. Louis Browns on May 6, 1953. Two others did the same in the dead-ball era of baseball: Ted Breitenstein of St. Louis Browns in 1891 and Bumpus Jones of Cincinnati Reds in 1892.
Gilbert’s father, Greg, who was seen on TV before the last and cheering his son on, was present. They exchanged a warm hug at the post-game celebration.
“I told him to stop crying, but he loves it,” Gilbert told MLB Network about what he said to his father during the hug.
It’s the eighth no-hitter in the MLB this year, hitting the 1884 record for most in a single baseball season. The Padres kicked off the no-hitter frenzy in 2021 when Joe Musgrove recorded the first in franchise history. Other no-hitters this season came from: Carlos Rodon of the White Sox; the John Means of the Orioles; Wade Miley the Red; the Spencer Turnbull the tiger; Corey Club of the Yankees; and a combined no-hitter from the Cubs.