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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Immaculate outing from Finnegan vs. Braves

Reliever Kyle Finnegan threw the fifth immaculate inning in Nationals team history on Wednesday against the Braves. By definition, that is recording three strikeouts on nine pitches.

The right-hander retired Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson and William Contreras in the sixth inning of Washington’s 5-3 loss to Atlanta.

Finnegan joined Stephen Strasburg (June 3, 2019 vs. Marlins), Max Scherzer (June 5, 2018 vs. Rays and May 14, 2017 vs. Phillies) and Jordan Zimmermann (May 6, 2011 vs. Marlins) as the only Nationals pitchers to accomplish the feat. The last Major League player to do so was Zach Plesac with the Indians on Sept. 18, 2020, vs. the Tigers.

Here’s how Finnegan got it done:
Vs. Riley: 94.7 mph sinker, called strike; 96.2 mph sinker, foul tip; 89.2 mph slider, swinging strike
Vs. Swanson: 96.1 mph sinker, called strike; 88.4 mph splitter, foul; 92.6 mph sinker, swinging strike
Vs. Contreras: 95.9 mph sinker, called strike; 95.1 mph sinker, foul tip; 95.0 mph sinker, called strike

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 12:32 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: immaculate inning, kyle finnegan, nationals

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   1. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:34 AM (#6017246)
It's a cool feat, but something that has happened 4 times for the same team in 4 calendar years (including a 60-game season) does not seem all that special. Is that about the same relative frequency as a 2-hitter?
   2. TomH Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:06 AM (#6017250)
https://www.nonohitters.com/immaculate-innings/#:~:text=A pitcher is said to,t exist until the 2000s.

This was the 53rd instance of a 9-pitch 3-KO inning since 2000, with 23 of those having occurred since 2015. The Nats have had more than their share. Compare this to 21 no-hitters since 2015; they occur about the same frequency these days.
   3. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 06, 2021 at 07:36 AM (#6017256)
Thanks, TomH!

Yeah, I figured that the Nationals were better at this than most teams, I just found this to be a strange approach when you're trying to express how rare something is: "The fourth for the Nationals in four years! The first one in MLB since September 2020 (i.e., 2 baseball months ago)!" That's kinda going out of your way to under-sell it.

Comparing it to no-hitters (especially right now) would've been more effective, because everyone understands that no-hitters are special -- but we've already had 3 (+Bumgarner) this season in just over a month, and 5 in the last calendar year including one by a guy I've never heard of.
   4. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: May 06, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#6017272)
It is pretty hard to get excited about a middle reliever doing this in a game we are losing, even if he's on my team
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 06, 2021 at 09:56 AM (#6017277)
It is pretty hard to get excited about a middle reliever doing this in a game we are losing
Yeah, isn’t this kind of a Microcosm of Baseball’s Problems Inning? Anonymous reliever pitching in the sixth strikes everyone out. Yeah, he did it as efficiently as possible…yay?
   6. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: May 06, 2021 at 06:41 PM (#6017426)
Wake me up when someone accomplishes the old nine-pitch no-hitter, with each inning featuring two intentional walks (no pitches thrown) followed by a triple play ball.

Or the no-pitch version, where he intentionally walks the bases loaded every inning and picks 27 runners off.

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