There’s something going on in the air throughout Major League Baseball right now.
Another spectacular moment took place last night in Arizona. As former Phillies farmhand, Tyler Gilbert, made his first major league start. It wasn’t his MLB debut, but it was the first time he was a starting pitcher in a game. It certainly won’t be the last.
It hasn’t been the best of seasons for his Arizona Diamondbacks, to put it rather nicely. Coming into this one, they were 37-80 on the year. No one really expected them to be a contender this year, but no one could have expected them to have a meltdown like this. For the first time in a long time, Arizona had something to cheer about. The Diamondbacks took on their division rival San Diego Padres on this Saturday evening, with Tyler Gilbert squaring off with Joe Musgrove.
Arizona got off to a hot starting putting up a 5 spot in the Bottom of the 1st, which is certainly a big weight off your back as a starter making your first ever start to be given that kind of breathing room.
Tyler Gilbert didn’t need more than 1 run of support, however.
Every pitcher dreams of going out in their first start, and becoming a part of history. A reliever for the majority of his career, I don’t think even Gilbert could have dreamt of what took place. I usually start to think about the possibility of a no-hitter or perfect game after the 3rd inning. I saw this debate on Twitter recently, and my brain starts to think about the idea after one full time through the order. That’s just how I’m wired. I’m curious when pitchers start to realize what’s going on.
Through 5 innings, the Padres simply had no answer for Gilbert. He isn’t going to blow anything by you. His fastball sits in the upper 80’s-low 90’s along with a sharp cutter sitting around 84-85. He’s got a good looking change-up and a very solid breaking ball. Arizona would add a run in the Bottom of the 5th, and another in the Bottom of the 6th to make it a 7-0 game.
Not that it mattered.
A little bit of life started to fill Chase Field, which even on a Saturday night was not exactly filled up. It’s hard to blame anyone for that given the way that the team has performed over the season. But any time there’s a chance at someone making history, it doesn’t matter how many people are there. The energy in the ballpark is just different.
Fast forward to the Top of the 9th, the Padres still remained hitless. The only Padres hitter that was able to have any type of success on Gilbert was LF Tommy Pham, who registered all 3 walks that were given up during the game. He was due up 3rd in the inning.
Trent Grisham got the first crack at getting the first hit of the game, and he took a breaking ball right down broad street to put Gilbert two outs away. Ha-Seong Kim was called to pinch hit for Miguel Diaz, and it simply didn’t matter who batted for the Padres. Another batter, another breaking ball for a called 3rd strike.
There was no one else that could’ve been the last out other than Tommy Pham. It simply had to end that way. Pham didn’t make it easy for him as he sent a liner right up the middle, but it carried just enough for Diamondbacks CF Ketel Marte to secure the catch, and the celebration began.
Tyler Gilbert throws the 8th no-hitter of the year.— MLB (@MLB) August 15, 2021
Against a team that is currently sitting in a playoff spot, Tyler Gilbert became a part of forever as he became only the 4th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw a no-hitter in his first career start.
He joins a list of unreal names to have accomplished this feat, including Theodore Breitenstein (1891), Bumpus Jones (1892), and Bobo Holloman (1953). That would be 68 years since the feat had occurred!
One of the craziest things about this game was the opposing starting pitcher. Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in Major League Baseball this year. That’s yet another “wow” moment, and it just seems like the baseball gods are playing hackeysack with our emotions this year. In all honesty, they might just be getting started.
Goosebumps.— MLB (@MLB) August 15, 2021
Tyler Gilbert is the fourth pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first MLB career start. pic.twitter.com/M76RIo838g