On Thursday, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel threw the second immaculate inning of the 2017 season. An immaculate inning is when a pitcher strikes out the side on nine pitches — the minimum number of pitches required for three strikeouts.
Immaculate innings are interesting because they’re feats that are more rare than other, more popular feats like no-hitters and batters hitting for the cycle. Nationals starter Max Scherzer threw an immaculate inning against the Phillies on Sunday, becoming the 79th different pitcher to accomplish the feat, which has been done 84 times in total. There have been 252 no-hitters in the modern era (since 1901) and 307 cycles since 1882.
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Scherzer gave up three runs on nine hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in six innings against the Phillies. The Nationals came from behind late to win 6-5. Scherzer is currently 4-2 with a 2.80 ERA and a 70/13 K/BB ratio in 54 2/3 innings. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is having another typically great season.