Adjust Font Size: A A       Guest settings   Register

Immaculate Innings in Japanese Baseball?

Discussion in the Ask the Commish forum
Immaculate Innings in Japanese Baseball?
I saw on a weekend morning sports show, probably on Sunday May 29th, that Brian Wolfe had pitched an immaculate inning for the Fighters. There was a list, a short one, of players who had done it before. Now I can't find anything about it on line. Does anyone know when Wolfe threw his? Does anyone have a complete list of immaculate innings in NPB?

Re: Immaculate Innings in Japanese Baseball?
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: May 31, 2011 9:06 PM | YBS Fan ]

I've never heard the phrase "immaculate inning" before. Looking at my data for the game, I assume that it means striking out the side on 9 pitches? That's what it looks like Nippon Ham's Brian Wolfe did to Yokohama's Brett Harper, Yuki Yoshimura, and Naoto Watanabe (#4, 5, and 6 batters respectively) in the second inning of the May 24 match up at Yokohama Stadium.

This Google search gives Hanshin's Kyuji Fujikawa striking out 3 Lions on 9 pitches on May 27, 2009. But he came into the game with runners at first and second with nobody out in the top of the 9th inning. The situation he came in almost makes it more impressive.

According to Sponichi Annex [in Japanese], the last time a pitcher retired all three batters in an inning on 9 pitches was when Hanshin's Masashi Sajikihara in the 7th inning on September 6, 2005 against the Chunichi Dragons. Wolfe becomes the 14th player in NPB history (15th time) to accomplish the feat. Interestingly, the article mentions that it's the first time a Pacific League pitcher has done it since 1976, 35 years ago. Wolfe becomes the first foreign pitcher in either league to have an "immaculate inning."

That was some interesting research. Thanks for the question.
Re: Immaculate Innings in Japanese Baseball?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jun 1, 2011 6:38 AM ]

I wonder what they would call the situation where all nine strikes are swing and misses. No fouls on strike one and two.
Re: Immaculate Innings in Japanese Baseball?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jun 1, 2011 9:15 PM ]

I don't know. I don't think there is an accepted phrase. How about Miracle Inning? Then there is the Bugs Bunny Inning, three strike outs on three pitches or was that one pitch?
Re: Immaculate Innings in Japanese Baseball?
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Jun 1, 2011 9:11 PM ]

You are very welcome for the question. Thank you very much for the answer!

And, yes, nine pitches nine strikes is the definition of an immaculate inning. They are very rare in Major League baseball, though they have become more common of late due to the practice of multiple late inning relief pitchers. Here is a link to a Wikipedia article: Link.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

Search for Pro Yakyu news and information
Copyright (c) 1995-2020
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Some rights reserved.