11 facts, figures from Gilbert's unlikely no-no

August 15th, 2021

After a rush of no-hitters at the beginning of the 2021 season, there hadn’t been one since the Cubs threw a combined effort on June 24 in Los Angeles -- until Saturday night, when D-backs rookie took the mound against the Padres.

Gilbert threw the eighth no-hitter of the 2021 season, tying the 1884 campaign for the most in a season in history (pending the inclusion of Negro Leagues stats). It’s worth noting that 1884 was before the mound was even moved to its current distance, something that happened in 1893.

Here are 11 facts and figures about Gilbert’s historic night.

• This was Gilbert’s first career start and fourth career game overall. He’s just the fourth pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his first career start, joining Bobo Holloman (May 6, 1953), Bumpus Jones (Oct. 15, 1892) and Theodore Breitenstein (Oct. 4, 1891).

• The lack of experience wasn’t confined to the mound. It was catcher Daulton Varsho’s 28th career start behind the plate. Their 27 combined starts at pitcher/catcher respectively are the third-fewest entering any no-hitter in the Modern Era (since 1900), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Only Kent Mercker/Javy Lopez (20 in 1994) and Don Wilson/Dave Adlesh (25 in 1967) had fewer.

• This was also Gilbert’s first complete game at any professional level. His previous career high in innings pitched came as a member of the Phillies organization with the Lakewood BlueClaws, when he tossed eight innings on July 9, 2016.

• It’s the third no-hitter in D-backs franchise history, joining Edwin Jackson on June 25, 2010, and Randy Johnson, who threw a perfect game on May 18, 2004. It’s worth noting that Madison Bumgarner pitched a seven-inning complete game without allowing a hit earlier this year, but that is not an official no-hitter as it wasn’t at least nine innings.

• Gilbert’s no-hitter is the first thrown by a D-backs pitcher at Chase Field -- Jackson’s 2010 no-no came at Tropicana Field against the Rays, and Johnson’s perfecto came against the Braves at Turner Field.

• It’s the first time the Padres have been no-hit since May 4, 2018, when four Dodgers pitchers combined to do so.

• It’s no secret that this hasn’t been the most successful of seasons for the D-backs. They entered the game 43 games under .500, which is the worst mark ever by an NL team entering a no-no, according to STATS. The only AL team to be more games under .500 entering one was the A’s in 1916, who were 25-91 before Bullet Joe Bush’s no-hitter on Aug. 26 against the Indians.

• There was a 29-win difference between the Padres and D-backs entering the game. That’s the fifth-largest such difference between the team that was no-hit and the team to throw the no-hitter in the modern era (since 1900), according to Elias.

• The Padres made hard contact against Gilbert, notching 10 hard-hit batted balls (95+ mph exit velocity), with the hardest being a 112.2 mph lineout from Manny Machado. Those 10 hard-hit batted balls are the second-most by any team that has been no-hit in a game tracked by Statcast (since 2015). The Brewers had 11 hard-hit batted balls against Alec Mills on Sept. 13, 2020, in his no-hitter.

• Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in Padres history on April 9, and now the team has been no-hit this season, too. They’re the first team since the 2015 Cubs to be no-hit and throw a no-hitter in the same season, and the sixth since 2010, along with the 2014 Phillies, 2013 Giants, 2012 Mariners and 2010 Rays.

• Speaking of Musgrove, he was the Padres’ starter in this game, meaning he’s now been on both ends of a no-hitter this year. He’s the 12th pitcher to both throw a no-hitter and have one thrown against him in a season, according to Elias, and the first since Jake Arrieta in 2015.