The fact that Max Scherzer was still in the game in the fifth inning tonight was a minor miracle, considering he took a 100 mph liner off his left knee in the top of the fourth.
Scherzer tried to walk the pain off after he was hit by the ball off Michael Saunders’ bat, but he couldn’t do it, collapsing to the ground in obvious pain.
He shook it off, however, convinced his manager, trainers, and coaches he was good to stay in, and after finishing the fourth inning, came back out for the fifth and struck the Philadelphia Phillies’ hitters out on nine pitches. 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3.
That’s an immaculate inning folks.
Immaculate [ih-mak-yuh-lit] adj.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 15, 2017
1. Free from flaws or mistakes; perfect
2. Max Scherzer pic.twitter.com/xZa1u12NOb
According to Baseball Almanac’s records, Scherzer became the 50th pitcher in National League history to throw an immaculate inning, “9 Pitches, 9 Strikes, 3 outs,”
with Rube Waddell John Clarkson the first NL pitcher to throw one for the Philadelphia Athletics back in 1902 Boston Beaneaters back in 1889, and former Nats’ closer Drew Storen the latest before tonight, when he threw one in April of this season.
Scherzer was pumped after he struck out Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr to end the frame.
According to Wikipedia, an unimpeachable source for accurate information, only four pitchers in MLB history have thrown more than one immaculate inning:
“Four players have accomplished the feat—commonly known as an immaculate inning — more than once in their career; Lefty Grove, Nolan Ryan, and Randy Johnson each did it twice, while Sandy Koufax accomplished the feat three times.”
Add an immaculate inning to the list of Scherzer’s accomplishments, along with his Cy Young awards in each league, his two no-hitters and his 20 K game.