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Pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches

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In Major League Baseball, 38 pitchers have thrown a nine-pitch, three-strikeout half-inning, literally throwing nothing but strikes, a total of 41 times. This feat is also known as an immaculate inning.[1]

PlayerDateTeamInningScoreOpponentBatters Faced
John ClarksonJune 4, 1889Boston Beaneaters (NL)third4-2 WPhiladelphia QuakersJim Fogarty
Sam Thompson
Sid Farrar
Rube WaddellJuly 1, 1902Philadelphia Athletics (AL)third2-0 WBaltimore OriolesBilly Gilbert
Harry Howell
John Cronin
Pat RaganOctober 5, 1914Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)eighth15-2 LBoston BravesPossum Whitted
Butch Schmidt
Red Smith
Joe OeschgerSeptember 8, 1921Boston Braves (NL)fourth8-6 LPhiladelphia PhilliesBevo LeBourveau
Cy Williams
Ed Konetchy
Sloppy ThurstonAugust 22, 1923Chicago White Sox (AL)twelfth3-2 L (13)Philadelphia AthleticsBeauty McGowan
Chick Galloway
Sammy Hale
Dazzy VanceSeptember 24, 1924Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)second6-5 WChicago CubsSam Bohne
Bubbles Hargrave
Eppa Rixey
Lefty GroveAugust 23, 1928Philadelphia Athletics (AL)second3-1 WCleveland IndiansEddie Morgan
Luther Harvel
Martin Autry
Lefty Grove (2)September 27, 1928Philadelphia Athletics (AL)seventh5-3 WChicago White SoxMoe Berg
Tommy Thomas
Johnny Mostil
Billy HoeftSeptember 7, 1953Detroit Tigers (AL)seventh6-2 WChicago White Sox
Jim BunningAugust 2, 1959Detroit Tigers (AL)ninth5-4 LBoston Red SoxSammy White
Jim Mahoney
Ike Delock
Sandy KoufaxJune 30, 1962Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)first5-0 WNew York MetsRichie Ashburn
Rod Kanehl
Felix Mantilla
Sandy Koufax (2)April 18, 1964Los Angeles Dodgers (NL)third3-0 LCincinnati RedsLeo Cardenas
Johnny Edwards
Jim Maloney
Bob BruceApril 19, 1964Houston Colt .45s (NL)eighth6-1 LSt Louis CardinalsBill White
Charlie James
Ken Boyer
Al DowningAugust 11, 1967New York Yankees (AL)second5-3 WCleveland IndiansTony Horton
Don Demeter
Duke Sims
Nolan RyanApril 19, 1968New York Mets (NL)third3-2 LLos Angeles DodgersClaude Osteen
Wes Parker
Zoilo Versalles
Bob GibsonMay 12, 1969St. Louis Cardinals (NL)seventh6-2 WLos Angeles DodgersLen Gabrielson
Paul Popovich
John Miller
Milt PappasSeptember 24, 1971Chicago Cubs (NL)fourth6-5 LPhiladelphia PhilliesGreg Luzinski
Don Money
Mike Anderson
Nolan Ryan (2)July 9, 1972California Angels (AL)second3-0 WBoston Red SoxCarlton Fisk
Bob Burda
Juan Beniquez
Bruce SutterSeptember 8, 1977Chicago Cubs (NL)ninth3-2 W (10)Montreal ExposEllis Valentine
Gary Carter
Larry Parrish
Ron GuidryAugust 7, 1984New York Yankees (AL)ninth7-0 WChicago White SoxCarlton Fisk
Tom Paciorek
Greg Luzinski
Jeff RobinsonSeptember 7, 1987Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)eighth3-2 WChicago CubsLeon Durham
Andre Dawson
Rafael Palmeiro
Rob DibbleJune 4, 1989Cincinnati Reds (NL)eighth5-3 WSan Diego PadresCarmelo Martínez
Mark Parent
Garry Templeton
Jeff MontgomeryApril 29, 1990Kansas City Royals (AL)eighth5-2 WTexas RangersPete Incaviglia
Geno Petralli
Thad Bosley
Andy AshbyJune 15, 1991Philadelphia Phillies (NL)fourth3-1 LCincinnati RedsHal Morris
Todd Benzinger
Jeff Reed
David ConeAugust 30, 1991New York Mets (NL)fifth3-2 WCincinnati RedsHerm Winningham
Randy Myers
Mariano Duncan
Pete HarnischSeptember 6, 1991Houston Astros (NL)seventh3-1 WPhiladelphia PhilliesWes Chamberlain
Dickie Thon
Jose De Jesus
Trevor WilsonJune 7, 1992San Francisco Giants (NL)ninth3-0 WHouston AstrosJeff Bagwell
Eric Anthony
Rafael Ramirez
Mel RojasMay 11, 1994Montreal Expos (NL)ninth4-3 WNew York MetsDavid Segui
Todd Hundley
Jeff McKnight
Mike MagnanteAugust 22, 1997Houston Astros (NL)ninth9-1 WColorado RockiesEllis Burks
Harvey Pulliam
Jeff Reed
Randy JohnsonAugust 23, 2001Arizona Diamondbacks (NL)sixth5-1 LPittsburgh PiratesTony McKnight
Gary Matthews, Jr.
Jack Wilson
Jason IsringhausenApril 13, 2002St. Louis Cardinals (NL)ninth2-1 WHouston AstrosDaryle Ward
José Vizcaíno
Julio Lugo
Byung-Hyun KimMay 11, 2002Arizona Diamondbacks (NL)eighth6-5 W (10)Philadelphia PhilliesScott Rolen
Mike Lieberthal
Pat Burrell
Pedro MartínezMay 18, 2002Boston Red Sox (AL)first4-1 WSeattle MarinersIchiro Suzuki
Mark McLemore
Rubén Sierra
Brian LawrenceJune 12, 2002San Diego Padres (NL)third2-0 WBaltimore Orioles (AL)Brook Fordyce
Jerry Hairston, Jr.
Melvin Mora
Brandon BackeApril 15, 2004Houston Astros (NL)eighth6-2 LMilwaukee BrewersBill Hall
Scott Podsednik
Craig Counsell
Ben SheetsJune 13, 2004Milwaukee Brewers (NL)third5-4 LHouston AstrosPete Munro
Craig Biggio
José Vizcaíno
LaTroy HawkinsSeptember 11, 2004Chicago Cubs (NL)ninth5-2 WFlorida MarlinsJeff Conine
Juan Encarnacion
Álex González
Rick HellingJune 20, 2006Milwaukee Brewers (NL)first10-1 LDetroit Tigers (AL)Curtis Granderson
Plácido Polanco
Iván Rodríguez
Buddy CarlyleJuly 6, 2007Atlanta Braves (NL)fourth7-4 WSan Diego PadresKhalil Greene
Russell Branyan
José Cruz, Jr.
Rich HardenJune 8, 2008Oakland Athletics (AL)first7-3 WLos Angeles Angels of AnaheimMaicer Izturis
Howie Kendrick
Garrett Anderson
Félix HernándezJune 17, 2008Seattle Mariners (AL)fourth5-4 WFlorida Marlins (NL)Jeremy Hermida
Jorge Cantu
Mike Jacobs

TriviaEdit

Template:Trivia

  • The feat has been accomplished in every regulation inning: four times in the 1st, four times in the 2nd, six times in the 3rd, five times in the 4th, once in the 5th (Cone), once in the 6th (Johnson), four times in the 7th, seven times in the 8th, eight times in the 9th, and once in the 12th (Thurston).
  • Three pitchers have accomplished the feat twice: Grove, Koufax, and Ryan. Of them, Grove is the only pitcher ever to have achieved the feat twice in the same season, and Ryan is the only pitcher ever to have achieved the feat in both the National and American Leagues, as well as being the only right-handed pitcher to accomplish the feat twice. All three are members of the Hall of Fame.
  • Three of the pitchers who have accomplished the feat have done so in their rookie seasons: Eller, Thurston, and Ashby.
  • Four of the pitchers who have accomplished the feat are members of the 3000 strikeout club: Johnson, Ryan, Gibson, and Martinez.
  • Koufax's first nine-pitch/three strikeout inning came in the first inning of his first no-hitter.
  • Four of the pitchers who have accomplished the feat have also thrown perfect games (though not in the same game): Koufax, Bunning, Cone and Johnson.
  • Guidry's and Wilson's immaculate innings are the only two to come in the ninth inning of a complete game. Both were shutout victories.
  • Nine of the pitchers who have accomplished the feat have been elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame: Clarkson, Waddell, Vance, Grove, Bunning, Koufax, Ryan, Gibson, and Sutter.
  • Thurston is the only pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the feat in extra innings.
  • Grove and Ryan are the only pitchers with 300 career wins to have accomplished the feat.
  • The 24-year-and-345-day gap between Grove's half-inning and Hoeft's half-inning in the longest span without a pitcher achieving the feat; the one-day gap between Koufax's half-inning and Bruce's half-inning is the shortest span.
  • 1928 was the first year in which the feat was accomplished twice (both times by Grove); 1964 was the first year in which two pitchers accomplished the feat (Koufax and Bruce); 1991 was the first year in which three pitchers accomplished the feat (Ashby, Cone, and Harnisch); 2002 was the first year in which four pitchers accomplished the feat (Isringhausen, Kim, Martínez and Lawrence)
  • José Vizcaíno, Carlton Fisk, Jeff Reed and Greg Luzinski are the only men recorded to have been victims twice.
  • Three franchises have seen their pitchers accomplish the feat four times, more than any of the others: The Houston NL franchise, with Bruce, Harnisch, Magnante, and Backe, the Dodgers--in Brooklyn and LA--with Ragan, Vance, and Koufax twice, and the Athletics, with Waddell, Grove twice, and Harden. The Braves and Cubs have each seen the feat performed three times.
  • As of the 2008 season, the feat has been accomplished twenty-six times in the National League, twelve times in the American league, and three times in interleague play.

SourcesEdit

  1. Rodriguez, John. "Hernandez's immaculate inning highlights Marlins' loss", Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2008-06-18. Retrieved on 2008-07-03.

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