Turnbull, who led the big leagues in losses when he went 3-17 two years ago, had never played more than seven innings in any of his previous 49 starts in three seasons. But a mid-90s fastball (mph) and biting slider left Seattle hitters guessing and added to a growing list of gems in 2021.
“All night long, I said to myself, I won’t be afraid to pitch. I will not question, doubt or be afraid of anything. I’m just going to go attacking, keep that frame of mind, ”Turnbull said. “If they hit one, they hit one, but I just wanted to stay aggressive. I didn’t want to fight. I wanted them to beat me. “
The five non-hitters up to May 18 correspond to the 1917 season for the most in baseball history on that date. Two were pitched in Seattle by opposing pitchers this month.
Turnbull’s no-no was the eighth in Tigers history and the first since Justin Verlander in Toronto on May 7, 2011.
“He was pretty relentless,” Detroit manager AJ Hinch said. “I’m really proud of him. He worked really hard and deserves every song tonight. “
The 28-year-old right-hander got excellent defensive play from third baseman Jeimer Candelario in the seventh inning, then pulled Mitch Haniger in the ninth to end it.
“Probably three of the best throws I’ve made all night,” said Turnbull.
Turnbull (3-2) drew nine and walked two. He delivered a free pass to Jose Marmolejos starting the ninth when a full count curve ball missed wide, just the second baserunner for Seattle. Turnbull pulled Sam Haggerty out for the first out and gave Jarred Kelenic a win in picking a defender for the second.
Haniger, who came closest to a hit for the Mariners earlier in the game, fell while swinging on a 95 mph fastball for the final. Turnbull screamed with joy and was engulfed in a hug from wide receiver Eric Haase before being swarmed by his teammates.
“He delivered some really good 3-2 break balls,” Hinch said. “He continued to respond to the challenge. “
Turnbull didn’t make his season debut until April 21 as he contracted COVID-19 and missed a few weeks. But he joined a non-hitting roster for 2021 that already included San Diego right-hander Joe Musgrove in Texas on April 9, Chicago White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon against Cleveland on April 14, John Means of Baltimore in Seattle on April 9. May 5 and Cincinnati. Southpaw Wade Miley vs. Cleveland on May 7.
Additionally, Arizona southpaw Madison Bumgarner pitched seven innings without a hitting in a full game in a doubles game against Atlanta on April 25, but this is not recognized as an official non-hitter by Major League Baseball because the game did not last at least nine. sleeves – it was shortened under current pandemic rules for a second consecutive season.
Turnbull threw a career-high 117 pitches, 77 for strikes. Haniger was the only hitter to hit the ball hard enough to threaten a baseline.
“You could tell he was in charge,” Hinch said of Turnbull. “It generated a soft touch to the ground. “
Like apparently all non-hitters, there was at least one great defensive play and Turnbull’s was no different. Haniger sent a drive to the wall in the middle of the field in the fourth inning that Akil Baddoo shot, but it was his shot in the seventh that looked for a hit.
Haniger lined up a fast 108mph from the start on the third baseline. Candelario made a terrific sprawling one-hopper save and a strong first pitch to get Haniger.
Seattle has joined Cleveland untouched twice already this season. That was nearly three times for the Mariners after Cleveland’s Zach Plesac took a no-no in the eighth inning in Seattle last week before it was broken.
“We have to improve. I know we have a young team, and some of these issues are getting more and more difficult, ”said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “We just don’t do it. “
The major league record for non-hittering in one season since 1900 is seven, which has happened several times.
Candelario played great defensively and was responsible for almost all of Detroit’s offense. He hit his third homer of the season with two strikeouts in the first inning. He added an RBI groundout in the third, and passed the wall in the center-right and scored on Miguel Cabrera’s RBI single in the eighth. Candelario went through a stop sign from third baseman Chip Hale, but scored when wide receiver Luis Torrens couldn’t properly handle the throw from a jump.
Mariners: OF Jake Fraley (hamstring strain) was doing pre-game fieldwork and may be heading for a rehab assignment in the near future, Servais said. Fraley has been out since April 7. … LHP Marco Gonzales (forearm strain) could progress to a few hitters by the end of the week.
Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (0-6, 5.73 ERA) are looking for their first win of the season. Skubal has lost four straight starts.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (0-1, 9.00) makes his second major league start. Gilbert allowed four earned runs on his debut last week against Cleveland.