Seattle — You wondered what it would look like. Just how dominant could he be, with that arsenal, with that freakish movement and velocity, if he could just harness it and command it.
It might just look like this.
Spencer Turnbull, in his 50th big-league start, pitched the eighth no-hitter in Tigers history in a 5-0 win over the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park Tuesday night.
He took the mound in the ninth inning at 100 pitches. He walked left-handed hitting Jose Marmolejos, losing him after getting ahead 0-2. He struck out Sam Haggerty, another left-handed hitter, for the first out.
He got Jarred Kelenic to ground into a fielder’s choice, which brought up Mitch Haniger. Haniger hit two of the hardest balls off Turnbull in the game. Turnbull struck him out on three pitches.
No-hitter. He was mobbed in the middle of the diamond by his teammates.
The 28-year-old Turnbull in his third full season, is the first Tigers pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Justin Verlander’s second career no-hitter on May 7, 2011.
The only blemishes on his night were the lead-off walk to Marmolejos in the ninth, and a lead-off walk in the fourth inning to the rookie Kelenic. He struck out nine and induced 12 groundball outs.
Turnbull was spotting his four-seam fastball expertly. He got 10 swings and misses with it. His slider was slow to come around, but it was darting and diving to both sides of the plate by the end.
Jeimer Candelario, who knocked in two runs and scored two others, also made a sterling defensive play to help keep Turnbull’s no-no intact in the seventh inning. Mitch Haniger, who in his career had reached base in all 12 games he’s played against the Tigers, hit a shot just to the right of Candelario toward the third base line.
The ball left his bat with an exit velocity of 108.4 mph. Statcast estimated a .660 hit probability. But Candelario made a quick sliding move to his right, backhanded a high hop and threw Haniger out at first.
Haniger had flown out to the wall in center in the fourth. Kyle Seager also made a bid, hit a liner to right that Nomar Mazara ran down.
Candelario ambushed a first-pitch fastball from Mariners starter Justin Dunn in the first inning and whacked his fourth home run of the season.
In the third, he rolled a ground ball to first that scored Robbie Grossman. The Tigers scratched that run out of Grossman’s seven-pitch walk, Jonathan Schoop’s infield single, a wild pitch and a ground out.
Then he doubled in the eighth and scored, aggressively, on a shallow single to right by Miguel Cabrera. Haniger’s throw from right beat Candelario to the plate, but catcher Luis Torrens couldn’t come up with it.
The Tigers added two more runs in the ninth. Harold Castro, who had three hits on the night, doubled and scored on a single by rookie Akil Baddoo. Baddoo stole second and scored on a single by Schoop.
The eight no-hitters in Detroit Tigers history
► May 18, 2021: Spencer Turnbull vs. Seattle Mariners, 5-0
► May 7, 2011: Justin Verlander vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 9-0
► June 12, 2007: Justin Verlander vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 4-0
► April 7, 1984: Jack Morris vs. Chicago White Sox, 4-0
► June 20, 1958: Jim Bunning vs. Boston Red Sox, 3-0
► Aug. 25, 1952: Virgil Trucks vs. New York Yankees, 1-0
► May 15, 1952: Virgil Trucks vs. Washington Senators, 1-0
► July 4, 1912: George Mullin vs. St. Louis Browns, 7-0