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Max Scherzer throws an immaculate inning against Rays


Nationals starter Max Scherzer struck out the side on nine pitches — known as an “immaculate inning” — in the top of the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s start against the Rays. He fanned Johnny Field, Christian Arroyo, and Daniel Robertson.

Scherzer’s immaculate inning is the second of the 2018 season, as the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman also accomplished the feat in the seventh inning of his start against the Indians on April 23.

From the first known immaculate inning by John Clarkson in 1889 through 1999, there were 33 immaculate innings. There were 12 from 2000-13. There were seven alone in 2014, followed by two in 2015, one in 2016, and eight last year along with the two so far this season.

One of the eight immaculate innings thrown last year came from Scherzer against the Phillies as he struck out César Hernández, Odúbel Herrera, and Aaron Altherr on nine pitches. The only other pitchers to have thrown multiple immaculate innings are Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, and Randy Johnson.

Scherzer ended up pitching eight innings against the Rays, yielding two runs on five hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts, tossing 99 pitches (81 for strikes) in total. He’s now carrying a 1.95 ERA on the season.

Some more interesting Scherzer notes:

Nick Pivetta to rejoin Phillies’ rotation

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Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.

Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.

Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.