I would say that the cover of this article gave one of the answers away but let’s be honest; I think we all could have guessed that “The Big Unit” threw a no-no at some point in his D-backs career.
When you look at baseball history, it is very impressive that Arizona has thrown 3 no-hitters in the 24 full seasons of their existence. One every 8 seasons, that is the best rate in baseball! You want to know the chances of a pitcher throwing a no-hitter? Less than 1%; .0013% to be exact.
You were probably able to guess one of the pitchers who defied the odds and went a whole game without allowing a single hit. Can you guess the other two?
Diamondbacks no-hitter #1: Randy Johnson (2004)
On Tuesday, May 18, 2004, hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson made Diamondbacks history. Arizona traveled east to battle the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. To no surprise, the game was played in front of a packed house of over 23,000 fans; Johnson brought his A-game.
Ironically, both starting pitchers pitched the entire game. Mike Hampton of the Braves twirled 9 innings of 2 run baseball, but once again, ironically, it wasn’t good enough. Arizona would end up winning the game 2-0.
Johnson wasn’t just good, he was dominant. On 117 pitches, he didn’t allow a single hit, he struck out 13 batters, and he did not walk a single man. Zero walks in 9 innings?! So not only did “The Big Unit” throw a no-hitter, he also threw a perfect game! Those poor Braves hitters; they didn’t stand a chance!
Diamondbacks no-hitter #2: Edwin Jackson (2010)
On Friday, June 25, 2010, Edwin Jackson threw the second-ever Diamondbacks no-no. Once again, a Diamondbacks no-hitter would happen away from home. Jackson tossed his first and only no-hitter in Tampa Bay, against the Rays and it was an unusual one, to say the least.
Amazingly, Jackson did not give up any hits, yet 9 Rays batters reached base that game. 8 walks, and one error. 8 walks?! By the end of the game, Jackson tossed 149 pitches. 149?! Nowadays, no matter how much a pitcher is dealing, they are usually pulled after 90-100 pitches. Oh, how things have changed!
Another bizarre point about Jackson throwing a no-no in 2010 is his numbers outside of June 25. In the 2010 season, Jackson went 6-10 with a 5.16 ERA for Arizona. Most baseball fans can tell you, those numbers aren’t adequate for a starting pitcher in the bigs. The question poses itself, did Edwin just get lucky, or was he truly fooling the Rays hitters that night? Either way, a no-hitter is a no-hitter…
Diamondbacks no-hitter #3: Tyler Gilbert (2021)
Jackson’s no-no was wacky, but Gilbert’s might top it. Actually in front of a home crowd this time, Tyler Gilbert threw the 3rd Diamondbacks no-hitter on August 14, 2021. On August 14, 2021, Tyler Gilbert was making his first career major league start.
Can you imagine what was going through Tyler’s head that day? Before the game, he was probably thinking about how he just needed to keep his team in it. “If I make a mistake here or there it is fine, I just need to try and keep the damage to under 5 runs.” - Tyler Gilbert probably.
Then all of a sudden he is through 5 innings and he still hasn’t given up a hit. Oh gosh, he’s through 6 without a hit; now 7, now 8. Tyler Gilbert, who is starting his first-ever game is 3 outs away from a no-no. Something that happens less than 1% of the time, can he really pull this off?! We all know how the story ends; the answer is a resounding yes…
Gilbert would finish the game throwing 102 pitches. He gave up no hits, 3 walks, and he struck out 5 batters. What an amazing story!