For Second Time This Month, Pirates Accomplish Rare Feat
PITTSBURGH — Back on May 4 against the Rays in Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Colin Holderman threw an immaculate inning — nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts.
Holderman became the first Pirates’ pitcher since Juan Nicasio in 2016 and only the third since 2000. Not to mention, it was also the first in the major leagues so far this season.
Fast forward 20 days later, and it happened again for a Pirates’ pitcher.
In the Pirates 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday afternoon at PNC Park, Johan Oviedo was also immaculate. He struck out Jonah Heim, Robbie Grossman and Josh Smith on nine pitches.
“It’s amazing. It’s also great that one of my teammates did it first. Now I did it. It’s exciting. It’s really hard to do that in baseball, so I’m excited about that,” Oviedo said on the impressive feat.
For Oviedo, he had been close to doing it in the past, but was never quite able to finish it off. That changed on Wednesday, much to the delight of the Pirates’ starter.
“It definitely is amazing. I’ve been close like twice in my career. Thankfully it happened today. You kind of (are aware of it) but like last time, I tried not to think about it and this time it just happened.” he said.
An immaculate inning is rare. Two immaculate innings in one month by a pair teammates is extremely rare. Both happening in the same calendar month? Come on. That’s almost unheard of.
The only other recorded instance of a major league team throwing two immaculate innings in the same month was the Astros in June of last season when Phil Maton and Luis Garcia each had one.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton has been around the game of baseball for essentially all of his adult life. Even he was in awe.
“It’s crazy. Until this year, I think I only saw two of them ever. I think it just shows the quality of the stuff our guys have,” he said.
It’s quite an accomplishment for Pirates’ pitchers. Holderman and Oviedo are now the only two pitchers amongst all 30 teams to have done it so far this year and are responsible for one-half of them for the Pirates overall.
That’s pretty crazy to think about.
What a joke