Friday, August 4, 2017

Dellin Betances Is Immaculate

Football may have the Immaculate Reception, as the fabled Terry Bradshaw-to-Franco Harris pass from 1972 is known. But baseball has the Immaculate Inning, which sees a pitcher strike out the side on nine pitches.
Dellin Betances did it for the Yankees this week, throwing nine by the Detroit Tigers to earn his place in the record books. It was a rare highlight for Yankee fans on a rainy day.
Said the NY Times, "Those who stuck it out to the bitter end — there weren’t many — were rewarded with Dellin Betances’s best work of the season, a so-called Immaculate Inning in which he struck out the side – Jim Adduci, Justin Upton and Miguel Cabrera — on nine pitches in the eighth." and Deadspin were among the media outlets also using the phrase this week to describe Betances' rare accomplishment. 
Betances became the sixth Yankee pitcher to attain Immaculate status, said the Times, after Al Downing, Ron Guidry, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova and Brandon McCarthy.
Wikipedia has a dedicated section on the Immaculate Inning, and those who have thrown them. (The entry's title is a not very flashy "List of Major League Baseball pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches."
Wikipedia says 82 pitchers have done it, and that includes Lefty Grove, Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson doing so twice, and Sandy Koufax three times.
The first hurler to do it was Boston Beaneater John Clarkson, who did so against the Philadelphia Quakers back in 1889.