Red Sox pitchers have tossed 18 no-hitters and there is even a pitching occurrence that is far less likely to happen to a Red Sox hurler – an immaculate inning. The immaculate inning is not religious, unless you are a batter praying for a hit, it is nine pitches and nine strikes and it is exceedingly rare.
Santiago Casilla of the San Francisco Giants recently became the 73rd pitcher in MLB history to record such an inning. The first ever recorded was by a Boston player, Hall of Famer John Clarkson, who accomplished the feat for the Boston Beaneaters in 1889. For the Red Sox it took a very long time.
” “I don’t think it’s something you’re looking to do. It just happened. I just want to get quick outs — one pitch. But when you’re able to strike out three guys like that, it’s amazing.” – Ivan Nova”
On May 18th of 2002 one Pedro Martinez – a pitcher of some note – sent the Mariners Ichiro Suzuki, Mark McLemore and Ruben Sierra down on nine straight pitches in the first inning in a home game at Fenway Park. Martinez won that game 4-1 to set his record at 6-0 for the young season and had his immaculate inning.
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Boston had to wait another ten years for the next immaculate inning.
On August 16th, 2012 the Baltimore Orioles came out in the last of the sixth to face Clay Buchholz. Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Chris Davis came, saw, and failed to connect in a game in which the Red Sox won and Buchholz gathered in win number eleven. Buchholz had his immaculate inning.
Buchholz also became one of the few to have an immaculate inning and a no-hitter in his career. Maybe he’ll add to that?
Lefty Grove, Randy Johnson, and Nolan Ryan accomplished the immaculate inning twice and Sandy Koufax did it three times. Grove did his two in the 1928 season and looking at lists it appears a real plus to having such an inning is to be a hard thrower.
The Red Sox also have another connection to an immaculate inning as both Wade Miley, with the Diamondbacks, and Justin Masterson, with the Indians, have accomplished the feat, so three members of the rotation – at least the rotation at the beginning of the season – all had bragging rights to an immaculate inning.
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