Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals pitched an “Immaculate Inning” last night. (Myron Cope coined that name in 1972.)

Nine pitches, nine strikes. Three hitters, three strikeouts.

My initial response: Why did Sean Rodriguez bat three times in a row?

But no, it was legit.

Scherzer is only the fifth pitcher to throw an “Immaculate Inning” twice or more. The others were Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. Each is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Grove pitched from 1925-41. How did somebody learn that Grove threw an “Immaculate Inning”? Not much video to watch.

Grove led the American League in strikeouts seven times. Perhaps whoever researched this particular piece of minutiae figured, “He must have done it. Let’s just say he did it. I’m sick of looking through all this old paperwork.”

Grove won 300 games. He went 24-8 in 1933 for the Philadelphia Athletics, then got traded to the Boston Red Sox after the season because A’s owner Connie Mack cut payroll. If only a man like that owned the Pirates.

Scherzer threw 99 pitches last night. Eighty-one were strikes. It really was like pitching to Rodriguez on a continuous loop.

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