With so much focus on the NBA Finals and the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals, it’s easy to see why baseball has gone under the radar so far this season. Not to mention the marathon-like feel to it where no one game ever feels all that important to the outcome of the entire season. With all of that said, Mas Scherzer made history last night with the Washington Nationals, and he happened to do so on just the perfect night in order to grab everyone’s attention.
Now, baseball has two big metrics for pitchers to obtain. Even if a starting pitcher wasn’t very good, if he had one of the two, then he will be remembered. One if the perfect game, where a pitcher doesn’t allow anyone to reach base. 27 up, 27 down. The other is a no-hitter, which is almost a perfect game, but it can allow for a walk or a hit by pitch. However, there is an even more impressive statistic, and that is the one called the “immaculate inning.” Immaculate innings are truly rare, and the reason why is because it requires a pitcher to throw exactly nine pitches in an inning while striking out all three hitters.
That is what Max Scherzer, one of the most gifted pitchers in the MLB, did last night against the Tampa Bay (I still want to call them Devil) Rays. He struck out, on three pitches each, Johnny Field, Christian Arroyo, and Daniel Robertson. But what makes this even more special is the fact that Scherzer has done this before! In fact, he did so last season against the Philadelphia Phillies. His place is history is already cemented, with three Cy Young awards to his name, but this achievement only serves to stoke the flames even more.
The only pitcher that has more immaculate innings than Scherzer, a few are tied on two with him mind you, is Sandy Koufax, who is widely regarded by many as the best to throw a baseball ever. Scherzer, at 33, might be nearing the end of his run as one of the very best, but he still has a couple of seasons or more left. Who is to say that he can’t get a third, tie the record, and further cement his name as one of the all-time greats?