When a team gets their first hit of a game, MASN color analyst F.P. Santangelo acknowledges there will not be a no-hitter on the day. Maybe we should start doing this when a pitcher throws a pitch to a batter which is called a ball, or when the first hitter of the inning fouls off an 0-2 pitch. “There goes the Immaculate Inning.”
Not that we are on Immaculate Inning watch on a nightly basis, hard enough keeping the fans interest without tracking each pitch of every inning. In the Nationals latest defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Braves, relief pitcher Kyle Finnegan became the 102nd hurler of all time to achieve an Immaculate Inning.
There wasn’t much to be proud of in the loss to the Braves, aside from Nationals pitcher Kyle Finnegan’s Immaculate Inning.
Let’s start with the pitching feat. For those of you who don’t know (or those who confuse it with Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception), an Immaculate Inning is achieved when a pitcher throws a perfect, clean and tidy, nine pitch inning, Nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts.
Amidst the offensive woes on the night, where a Nationals player hit into another rally killing double play while another Nationals hitter failed to score a runner from third with less than two outs, there was a bright spot on the pitching side of things.
Kyle Finnegan entered in the sixth inning, and used the minimum amount of pitches to dispatch three Braves hitters. With the first two Braves swinging through pitches to make u-turns, Finnegan perfectly located a pitch low and away to catch Willam Contreras looking. A bright spot in an otherwise dismal day.
In his 38 games with the Nationals since being signed to a Major League contract (without any Major League experience), Finnegan has been a solid contributor to the Nationals bullpen.
While it goes in the books as a loss, it’ll go into the record books as an Immaculate lnning for Finnegan.