An aspiring electrician, the Diamondbacks left-hander delivered a shocker for the history books Saturday night.
Gilbert became the fourth pitcher — and first in 68 years — to throw a no-hitter in his initial big league start, leading Arizona over the San Diego Padres 7-0 with the record-tying eighth no-hitter in the majors this season.
The last to accomplish the feat in his first start was Bobo Holloman of the St. Louis Browns on May 6, 1953. Bumpus Jones also did it in his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds on Oct. 15, 1892, and Theodore Breitenstein threw one in his first start for the Browns on Oct. 4, 1891.
The eight no-hitters matched the mark set in 1884, the first year overhand pitching was allowed.
Gilbert struck out Trent Grisham and Ha-Seong Kim in the ninth inning before Tommy Pham lined out to center fielder Ketel Marte. Joyous Diamondbacks players threw their gloves in the air and rushed the mound, mobbing the surprising hero who spent six seasons in the minors and was selected in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft last winter.
He had pitched three times in relief for a total of 3 2/3 innings since making his major league debut this month.
“Crazy,” Gilbert said. “It’s not going to hit me for probably another day. I don’t know what just happened.”
The 27-year-old Gilbert threw 102 pitches, including 64 strikes, against a San Diego lineup missing injured star Fernando Tatis Jr. Gilbert rarely delivered his fastball above 90 mph, but he effectively peppered the Padres with breaking pitches and leaned on his defense, which bailed him out on several hard-hit balls.