MLB Network analyst has high praise for Jack Flaherty after no-hit bid

Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox
Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

When the Tigers signed Jack Flaherty to one-year deal this offseason, the move was met with cautiously optimistic to perhaps overly fatalistic responses from fans, the latter of which were concerned with Flaherty's track record of injury and poor performance toward the end of his run in St. Louis and throughout his very short tenure in Baltimore.

They weren't irrational quibbles, but they might've been a bit ungenerous. Flaherty is still young, and despite him never quite being able to get back to the heights of his Cy Young candidacy year in 2019, some of the proceeding seasons were by no means disastrous, and he was a much more promising bounceback candidate than some others in the free agency pool this offseason.

Flaherty must've known that he had his doubters, but the way he pitched throughout May quieted a lot of the noise. He made five starts and pitched almost 32 innings this month for a 2.84 ERA, the second best on the Tigers after Tarik Skubal. Flaherty capped it off with a 6 2/3 innings, 104 pitch effort against the Red Sox on Thursday, taking a no-hit effort into the seventh before Rob Refsnyder singled to break it up.

In the aftermath, MLB Network host Mark DeRosa had high praise for Flaherty, calling him "a top five pitcher in the game."

Jack Flaherty's 6 2/3 no-hit innings against the Red Sox garnered high praise from MLB Network's Mark DeRosa

Flaherty was humble about his outing, saying, "I hate that guy that says like, it's not great stuff, but I was able to do it. But I didn't feel like I had any command of it. I didn't know where my slider was going. I threw a couple of good ones, and I found the outside corner to lefties a couple of times, but they hit the balls at guys."

Sure, no-hitters always involve a little bit of luck and usually one fantastic play to preserve it (Spencer Torkelson got that honor on Thursday night), Flaherty also struck out nine batters for his third straight start, which definitely requires a little more than luck.

It was arguably his best start of the season, neck-and-neck with his 6 2/3 inning, two-hit, 14 strikeout game on April 30 against his old team in St. Louis. DeRosa's "top five in the game" designation might be a little hyperbolic, but Flaherty is getting closer to earning that kind of title than he has in years.