First MLB Start Ever Produces No-Hitter

Tyler Gilbert spent last summer working as an electrician
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2021 10:20 AM CDT
Tyler Gilbert Beats All Odds With No-Hitter in First Start
Tyler Gilbert pitches in the seventh inning Saturday against the Padres in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

Move over, Bobo Holloman. On Saturday night in Phoenix, Tyler Gilbert of the Diamondbacks threw a no-hitter in the first major league start of his career, beating the Padres 7-0. Gilbert would have been a bad bet to accomplish such a feat, NBC reports, because:

  • It's only happened three previous times in baseball history. The most recent was in 1953, by the St. Louis Browns' Holloman. Bumpus Jones, you'll recall, did it in 1892 and Theodore Breitenstein in 1891.
  • His supporting cast, on paper, isn't great. The Diamondbacks have the worst record in baseball, 38-80. No National League team ever has posted a no-hitter when entering the game 43 games under .500, per STATS. The A's were 25-91 when they had one in 1916.
  • Even in the minor leagues, he was mostly a reliever. Gilbert hadn't started a game since 2016. He hadn't thrown a complete game as a pro.
  • The Padres can hit. They were without their biggest star, Fernando Tatis Jr., but overall rank ninth in baseball in offense, per ESPN.
  • Arizona's defense doesn't inspire faith. The Diamondbacks are 24th in baseball in fielding, per ESPN, out of 30 teams.

  • His catcher didn't have much experience, either. Daulton Varsho was making his 28th career start behind the plate. The 27 combined starts for a pitcher and catcher was the third-lowest total of a no-hitter battery since the Modern Era began in 1900, per MLB.
  • He spent last summer working as an electrician with his father—"You know, just trying to make some money and learn a trade," he said Saturday night, adding, "But I'd rather be here right now."
Gilbert's was the eighth no-hitter this season in Major League Baseball. That ties the record set in 1884, the breakthrough season when overhand pitching was first allowed—in time for the Breitenstein and Jones gems. (More MLB stories.)

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