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Justin Masterson had a flawless inning

Jun 3, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

Nine pitches. Nine strikes. Three swinging strikeouts. And a flawless fourth inning for Indians right-hander Justin Masterson against the Red Sox:

Masterson has struggled somewhat this season because of poor control, but after posting some sub par strikeout numbers early in his career as a starter he now has 263 strikeouts in 267 innings dating back to the beginning of last season.

  1. goskinsvt - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Appears to be the 51st pitcher to have thrown a perfect inning, third time it’s happened this year ironically.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Baseball_pitchers_who_have_struck_out_three_batters_on_nine_pitches

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      You get points for the info, but demerits for your misunderstanding of the word “ironic”. Three times cannot be the opposite of what would be expected. Better choice might have been: by amusing coincidence.

      • goskinsvt - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        I did, in fact, mean ironic. As in it’s unexpected that with it only being accomplished by 51 people in 130 years of baseball, that it would have happened 3 times in the first 3 months of the current season.

  2. pinkfloydprism - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    I would think a three pitch inning would be better.

    • cshearing - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Nope. With contact comes the possibility of a flare or a botched defensive play. When the bats never make contact there is very little chance of anything happening.

      • bitlrc - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        But a 3 pitch inning, by definition, means that you got through the inning unscathed and using fewer pitches. To me, that’s more valuable.

      • dluxxx - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Technically you could give up two hits and have a triple play with 3 pitches. That’s not necessarily as good as 9 pitches and 3 strikeouts.

      • 18thstreet - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        Three foul pops.

        Beat that, haters.

  3. 18thstreet - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    The Victor Martinez for Justin Masterson trade really worked out as promised for both clubs, didn’t it? (Yes, there were other players involved.) Does that ever happen?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      Volquez-Hamilton?

  4. proudlycanadian - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    How many times have pitchers recorded 3 outs in an inning on a total of only 3 pitches?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Proud: dozens of times. Walter Johnson did it at least 4 times. Edwin Jackson did it this year.
      See: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/3_pitch_inning.shtml

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        Thanks. Maddux probably considers a three pitch inning to be a perfect inning.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 3, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        Proud: Maddux is on the list, twice.
        One could argue that Al Leiter topped him though, doing it in the 8th inning of his 1996 no-hitter.
        Also, in his first no-hitter, Sandy Koufax started the game with one of these 9 pitch, 3K innings that this story is about.

      • mazblast - Jun 4, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        nothanks–Here’s a Koufax anecdote I’ve always loved–

        September 1965, Koufax vs. the Cubs. Glenn Beckert leads off and makes the first out. On the way back to the dugout, he tells on-deck hitter Ron Santo, “He doesn’t have his best stuff.” 26 batters later, Koufax finishes his perfect game.

        Sandy Koufax–The only Dodger my father, who grew up a NY Giants fan, ever loved.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/3_pitch_inning.shtml

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        Thank you.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        No prob

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jun 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Yea, I would think a 3 pitch, 3 out inning would be perfect, but this is pretty damn good in itself.

  5. tbird05 - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    How masterful.

  6. aceshigh11 - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    That was a thing of beauty. I always liked Masterson when he was with the Red Sox.

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