List of Major League Baseball pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches

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A smiling man in a white baseball jersey and dark baseball cap with an interlocked white "LA" on the front.
A man in a gray baseball jersey wearing a dark blue baseball cap with a "T" at the centre and a brown Rawlings on his left hand prepares to pitch with the windup.
Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax (left) and Nolan Ryan (right) are the only pitchers to achieve an immaculate inning on two separate occasions.

In baseball, a strikeout occurs when a pitcher throws three strikes to a batter during his time at bat.[1] Forty-eight different pitchers have struck out three batters on nine consecutive pitches in a half-inning of a Major League Baseball (MLB) game as of 2013, the most recent being Steve Delabar of the Toronto Blue Jays on July 30, 2013.[2] Three players have accomplished the feat—commonly known as an immaculate inning[3][4]—more than once in their career;[5] no player has ever struck out four batters on twelve pitches in an inning. John Clarkson was the first player to strike out three batters on nine pitches, doing so in the third inning for the Boston Beaneaters against the Philadelphia Quakers on June 4, 1889.[6]

Out of the 48 pitchers who have accomplished the feat, 36 were right-handed and 12 pitched left-handed. Eight of these players (including five active pitchers) have played for only one major league team. Four pitchers—Bob Gibson, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martínez and Nolan Ryan—are also members of the 3,000 strikeout club.[7] Sloppy Thurston, Wade Miley and Ryan are the only rookies to have attained the milestone.[8][9][10] Ryan struck out three batters on nine pitches in the American League and National League, becoming the only player to achieve the feat in both leagues of MLB.[11] Danny Jackson is the sole player to pitch an immaculate inning in the World Series.[12]

Of the 23 players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame who pitched an immaculate inning, nine have been elected and three were elected on the first ballot.[13] Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame if they have played in at least 10 major league seasons, and have either been retired for five seasons or deceased for at least six months.[14] These requirements leave 13 players ineligible who are active, four who are living and have played in the past five seasons, and eight who did not play in 10 major league seasons.

Players[edit]

Key
Pitcher (X) Name of the pitcher and number of immaculate innings they had pitched at that point
Date Date of the game
Team The player's team at the time of the game
Opposing team The team against whom the pitcher struck out three batters on nine pitches
Inning The inning in which the pitcher struck out three batters on nine pitches
Batters faced (X) The batters who were struck out on nine pitches and number of immaculate innings they had batted in at that point
Box Box score with play by play (if available)
dagger Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
double-dagger Player is active[a]
MLB pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches
Pitcher Date Team Opposing team Inning Batters faced Box
Clarkson, JohnJohn Clarksondagger June 4, 1889 Boston Beaneaters Philadelphia Quakers 3rd Jim Fogarty, Sam Thompson, Sid Farrar n/a
Waddell, RubeRube Waddelldagger July 1, 1902 Philadelphia Athletics Baltimore Orioles 3rd Billy Gilbert, Harry Howell, John Cronin n/a
Ragan, PatPat Ragan October 5, 1914 Brooklyn Dodgers Boston Braves 8th Possum Whitted, Butch Schmidt, Red Smith n/a
Oeschger, JoeJoe Oeschger September 8, 1921 Boston Braves Philadelphia Phillies 4th Bevo LeBourveau, Cy Williams, Ed Konetchy n/a
Thurston, SloppySloppy Thurston August 22, 1923 Chicago White Sox Philadelphia Athletics 12th Beauty McGowan, Chick Galloway, Sammy Hale n/a
Vance, DazzyDazzy Vancedagger September 24, 1924 Brooklyn Dodgers Chicago Cubs 2nd Sam Bohne, Bubbles Hargrave, Eppa Rixey n/a
Grove, LeftyLefty Grovedagger August 23, 1928 Philadelphia Athletics Cleveland Indians 2nd Eddie Morgan, Luther Harvel, Martin Autry n/a
Grove, LeftyLefty Grovedagger (2) September 27, 1928 Philadelphia Athletics Chicago White Sox 7th Moe Berg, Tommy Thomas, Johnny Mostil n/a
Hoeft, BillyBilly Hoeft September 7, 1953 Detroit Tigers Chicago White Sox 7th Jim Rivera, Mike Fornieles, Chico Carrasquel [15]
Bunning, JimJim Bunningdagger August 2, 1959 Detroit Tigers Boston Red Sox 9th Sammy White, Jim Mahoney, Ike Delock [16]
Koufax, SandySandy Koufaxdagger June 30, 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers New York Mets 1st Richie Ashburn, Rod Kanehl, Félix Mantilla [17]
Koufax, SandySandy Koufaxdagger (2) April 18, 1964 Los Angeles Dodgers Cincinnati Reds 3rd Leo Cárdenas, Johnny Edwards, Jim Maloney [18]
Bruce, BobBob Bruce April 19, 1964 Houston Colt .45s St Louis Cardinals 8th Bill White, Charlie James, Ken Boyer [19]
Downing, AlAl Downing August 11, 1967 New York Yankees Cleveland Indians 2nd Tony Horton, Don Demeter, Duke Sims [20]
Ryan, NolanNolan Ryandagger April 19, 1968 New York Mets Los Angeles Dodgers 3rd Claude Osteen, Wes Parker, Zoilo Versalles [21]
Gibson, BobBob Gibsondagger May 12, 1969 St. Louis Cardinals Los Angeles Dodgers 7th Len Gabrielson, Paul Popovich, John Miller [22]
Pappas, MiltMilt Pappas September 24, 1971 Chicago Cubs Philadelphia Phillies 4th Greg Luzinski, Don Money, Mike Anderson [23]
Ryan, NolanNolan Ryandagger (2) July 9, 1972 California Angels Boston Red Sox 2nd Carlton Fisk, Bob Burda, Juan Beníquez [24]
Sutter, BruceBruce Sutterdagger September 8, 1977 Chicago Cubs Montreal Expos 9th Ellis Valentine, Gary Carter, Larry Parrish [25]
Guidry, RonRon Guidry August 7, 1984 New York Yankees Chicago White Sox 9th Carlton Fisk (2), Tom Paciorek, Greg Luzinski (2) [26]
Jackson, DannyDanny Jackson October 24, 1985 Kansas City Royals St. Louis Cardinals 7th Terry Pendleton, Tom Nieto, Brian Harper [12]
Robinson, JeffJeff Robinson September 7, 1987 Pittsburgh Pirates Chicago Cubs 8th Leon Durham, Andre Dawson, Rafael Palmeiro [27]
Dibble, RobRob Dibble June 4, 1989 Cincinnati Reds San Diego Padres 8th Carmelo Martínez, Mark Parent, Garry Templeton [28]
Montgomery, JeffJeff Montgomery April 29, 1990 Kansas City Royals Texas Rangers 8th Pete Incaviglia, Geno Petralli, Thad Bosley [29]
Ashby, AndyAndy Ashby June 15, 1991 Philadelphia Phillies Cincinnati Reds 4th Hal Morris, Todd Benzinger, Jeff Reed [30]
Cone, DavidDavid Cone August 30, 1991 New York Mets Cincinnati Reds 5th Herm Winningham, Randy Myers, Mariano Duncan [31]
Harnisch, PetePete Harnisch September 6, 1991 Houston Astros Philadelphia Phillies 7th Wes Chamberlain, Dickie Thon, Jose De Jesus [32]
Wilson, TrevorTrevor Wilson June 7, 1992 San Francisco Giants Houston Astros 9th Jeff Bagwell, Eric Anthony, Rafael Ramírez [33]
Rojas, MelMel Rojas May 11, 1994 Montreal Expos New York Mets 9th David Segui, Todd Hundley, Jeff McKnight [34]
Magnante, MikeMike Magnante August 22, 1997 Houston Astros Colorado Rockies 9th Ellis Burks, Harvey Pulliam, Jeff Reed (2) [35]
Johnson, RandyRandy Johnson August 23, 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks Pittsburgh Pirates 6th Tony McKnight, Gary Matthews, Jr., Jack Wilson [36]
Isringhausen, JasonJason Isringhausen April 13, 2002 St. Louis Cardinals Houston Astros 9th Daryle Ward, José Vizcaíno, Julio Lugo [37]
Kim, Byung-HyunByung-Hyun Kim May 11, 2002 Arizona Diamondbacks Philadelphia Phillies 8th Scott Rolen, Mike Lieberthal, Pat Burrell [38]
Martínez, PedroPedro Martínez May 18, 2002 Boston Red Sox Seattle Mariners 1st Ichiro Suzuki, Mark McLemore, Rubén Sierra [39]
Lawrence, BrianBrian Lawrence June 12, 2002 San Diego Padres Baltimore Orioles 3rd Brook Fordyce, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Melvin Mora [40]
Backe, BrandonBrandon Backe April 15, 2004 Houston Astros Milwaukee Brewers 8th Bill Hall, Scott Podsednik, Craig Counsell [41]
Sheets, BenBen Sheets June 13, 2004 Milwaukee Brewers Houston Astros 3rd Pete Munro, Craig Biggio, José Vizcaíno (2) [42]
Hawkins, LaTroyLaTroy Hawkinsdouble-dagger September 11, 2004 Chicago Cubs Florida Marlins 9th Jeff Conine, Juan Encarnación, Álex González [43]
Helling, RickRick Helling June 20, 2006 Milwaukee Brewers Detroit Tigers 1st Curtis Granderson, Plácido Polanco, Iván Rodríguez [44]
Carlyle, BuddyBuddy Carlyledouble-dagger July 6, 2007 Atlanta Braves San Diego Padres 4th Khalil Greene, Russell Branyan, José Cruz, Jr. [45]
Harden, RichRich Hardendouble-dagger June 8, 2008 Oakland Athletics Los Angeles Angels 1st Maicer Izturis, Howie Kendrick, Garret Anderson [46]
Hernández, FélixFélix Hernándezdouble-dagger June 17, 2008 Seattle Mariners Florida Marlins 4th Jeremy Hermida, Jorge Cantú, Mike Jacobs [47]
Burnett, A. J.A. J. Burnettdouble-dagger June 20, 2009 New York Yankees Florida Marlins 3rd Josh Johnson, Chris Coghlan, Emilio Bonifacio [48]
Ohlendorf, RossRoss Ohlendorfdouble-dagger September 5, 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates St. Louis Cardinals 7th Khalil Greene (2), Julio Lugo (2), Jason LaRue [49]
Soriano, RafaelRafael Sorianodouble-dagger August 23, 2010 Tampa Bay Rays Los Angeles Angels 9th Erick Aybar, Mike Napoli, Peter Bourjos [50]
Zimmermann, JordanJordan Zimmermanndouble-dagger May 6, 2011 Washington Nationals Florida Marlins 2nd Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Dobbs, John Buck [51]
Pérez, JuanJuan Pérezdouble-dagger July 8, 2011 Philadelphia Phillies Atlanta Braves 10th Jason Heyward, Nate McLouth, Wilkin Ramírez [52]
Buchholz, ClayClay Buchholzdouble-dagger August 16, 2012 Boston Red Sox Baltimore Orioles 6th Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, Chris Davis [53]
Miley, WadeWade Mileydouble-dagger October 1, 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks Colorado Rockies 3rd Jonathan Herrera, Drew Pomeranz, Josh Rutledge [54]
Nova, IvánIván Novadouble-dagger May 29, 2013 New York Yankees New York Mets 8th Ike Davis, Mike Baxter, Rubén Tejada [55]
Delabar, SteveSteve Delabardouble-dagger July 30, 2013 Toronto Blue Jays Oakland Athletics 8th Adam Rosales, Coco Crisp, Chris Young [56]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A player is considered inactive if he has announced his retirement or not played for a full season.

References[edit]

General

Specific

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  2. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (July 31, 2013). "Pair of homers plenty for Buehrle's sterling start". MLB.com (MLB Advanced Media). Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ Kovacevic, Dejan (September 5, 2009). "Ohlendorf fans 11, including immaculate inning, but Pirates lose". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  4. ^ Topkin, Marc (August 25, 2010). "Soriano's latest feat is flawless". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Found, Gregg (August 24, 2010). "1st Pitch: Pujols pursues 400". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
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  10. ^ "Nolan Ryan Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
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