Tyler Gilbert’s first career start came earlier this month against the San Diego Padres and turned into one for the history books.
The Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in his initial start since Bobo Hollomon of the St. Louis Browns in 1953.
Gilbert will see those same Padres hitters in the same venue again on Monday when he starts for the Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game set in Phoenix.
The 27-year-old Gilbert struck out five and walked three in his stellar effort on Aug. 14.
He retired the final nine hitters with the final out coming on Tommy Pham’s liner to center.
“I saw it hang in the air and I was like, ‘OK, this is it. It’s happening,'” Gilbert said of out No. 27. “It was cool.”
Since his epic outing, Gilbert (1-1, 2.38 ERA) has received consecutive no-decisions against the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates. He allowed six runs and 12 hits in 10 innings during the stretch.
Gilbert’s gem against the Padres was part of a series in which the lowly Diamondbacks won three of four games.
San Diego has yet to recover from that series.
Beginning with a 7-0 loss to the Miami Marlins on Aug. 11, the Padres were outscored 29-5 in a four-game stretch that ended with Gilbert’s no-hitter.
Now, San Diego has lost 13 of its past 16 games and has scored three or fewer runs 10 times during the span. The Padres were walloped 10-2 by the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night before being off on Sunday.
Saturday’s trouncing came one day after right-hander Joe Musgrove tossed a three-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory. Musgrove said the victory could end up being recalled as one that turned the team’s season around.
But the good vibes didn’t last as the Padres gave up their most runs since the Diamondbacks notched a 12-3 win on Aug. 12.
“It’s frustrating,” San Diego manager Jayce Tingler said afterward. “I was hoping that after last night’s outing with Joe and getting some momentum, that we’d be able to get rolling a little bit.”
The Padres were 17 games over. 500 on Aug. 10 before things unraveled. At that point, they were part of a three-team battle in the National League West.
Now the Padres are on the outside of the NL wild-card race, trailing the Cincinnati Reds by 1 1/2 games for the second berth entering play Monday.
San Diego’s pitching has been highly suspect over the past few weeks, but right-hander Chris Paddack (strained left oblique) will return to start the series opener.
Paddack was injured during a bullpen session on July 31, one day after the team came up empty on its bid to acquire Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline.
The 25-year-old Paddack pitched three innings in a simulated game on Thursday and threw a bullpen on Saturday, successfully passing both and prompting Tingler to announce he would start on Monday.
Paddack is 7-6 with a 5.13 ERA in 19 starts and one relief appearance this season but has struggled against Arizona. He is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA and has allowed 18 hits and five walks in just 11 2/3 innings.
Overall, Paddack is 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA in eight career starts against the Diamondbacks. Ketel Marte is a scorching 7-for-13 against Paddack while Nick Ahmed (5-for-14) and Carson Kelly (4-for-12, one homer) also have fared well.
Ahmed went 2-for-5 with three RBIs on Sunday but the Diamondbacks lost 7-4 to the host Philadelphia Phillies.
The loss was the third straight for Arizona, which went 3-7 on a trip against the Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Phillies.
–Field Level Media