Justin Masterson strikes out side against Red Sox with nine pitches (videos)
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson struck out the side in an inning during his Monday start against the Boston Red Sox as well as statistically possible, blowing away Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore and Stephen Drew in the top of t4th inning with only nine pitches.
The so-called “immaculate inning” has only been achieved 73 times in major league history, according to Baseball Almanac (via Cleveland.com), although it is the third time it has occurred this season.
The nine-pitch shutdown of the BoSox was part of a run of 25 straight pitches thrown by Masterson recorded as strikes.
Talk about being locked in. For the game, Masterson struck out ten, going seven innings in Cleveland’s 3-2 win.
He admitted afterward he did not realize he accomplished such a rare feat at first.
“I didn’t know it was nine pitches,” he said, as quoted in an MLB.com report. “I knew I punched out the side. [Pitching coach Mickey Callaway] said, ‘I think you should do that every time.’ That sounds great. No, in the moment, I didn’t realize it. I just realized it was strike, strike, see you.”
But the pitcher put it all in its proper perspective with a tongue-in-cheek jest at his own expense.
“I’ve felt like I’ve thrown 25 balls in a row in one game,” Masterson said, laughing. “So, it’s nice to throw 25 strikes.”