Matt Boyd, like many of the Detroit Tiger starting pitchers, struggled in 2017.
Heading into his 23rd appearance of the season, Boyd had himself a 5-10 record and a 5.75 ERA. But on September 17, 2017, Matt Boyd nearly tossed what would have been the eighth no-hitter in franchise history.
Boyd retired the first eight hitters in a row before walking #9 hitter Rob Brantly in the third inning. A groundout by Tim Anderson ended the frame. From there, Boyd really got going. He retired the next 17 hitters in a row, carving up the White Sox hitters while the Tigers piled on the runs. Detroit scored 12 runs in the game, getting home runs from Mikie Mahtook, Nicholas Castellanos and Jeimer Candelario.
Boyd started the ninth inning needing three outs to record the first no-hitter by a left-handed pitcher in Detroit history. He got off to a strong start, getting Adam Engel to pop out to Candelario in foul ground. Pinch-hitter Kevan Smith grounded out to second base, bringing up shortstop Tim Anderson with two outs in the ninth inning.
Unfortunately, the fun ended there. Anderson laced a double deep into right field, past Castellanos.
Yoan Moncada grounded out to third to end the game and give Boyd the complete game shutout, the first of his career.
Many fans lament over manager Brad Ausmus‘ decision to leave Castellanos in the game in right field. Castellanos struggled defensively in 2017 while adjusting to a new position.
However, the ball was hit very well by Anderson and seems unlikely to have been caught even by the most athletically gifted right fielder. It was just an unfortunately well timed hit by Anderson, costing Boyd a place in baseball history.
Regardless, this was one of (if not the most) fun game of the Tigers season, and a game Boyd will remember for the rest of his career.
Speaking of career-defining games: