Michael Kopech becomes first White Sox pitcher to throw immaculate inning in more than a century


Michael Kopech was immaculate for the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

The flamethrowing reliever made MLB history while closing out the Minnesota Twins in the first leg of a doubleheader, throwing an immaculate inning in the ninth inning of a 3-1 win. An immaculate inning is when a pitcher strikes out all three batters in an inning with nine pitches total.

Kopech’s three victims were Brooks Lee, Matt Wallner and Max Kepler.

The immaculate inning was the 116th in MLB history, making the feat more rare than a no-hitter or a cycle, and the second in White Sox history. The only other Chicago pitcher to throw an immaculate inning was the immaculately named Sloppy Thurston on Aug. 22, 1923.

The most recent pitcher to throw one in MLB was the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Johan Oviedo on May 24 of last season.

Here’s the full pitch mix from Kopech’s accomplishment:

• 97.3 mph fastball (foul)
• 90.1 mph cutter (foul)
• 100.1 mph fastball (called strike)
• 98.4 mph fastball (swinging strike)
• 91.5 mph cutter (foul)
• 100.5 mph fastball (swinging strike)
• 91.1 mph cutter (swinging strike)
• 90.0 mph cutter (called strike)
• 100.1 mph fastball (swinging strike)

The accomplishment is an appropriate one for Kopech, who was once among the top prospects in baseball because of his triple-digit heat. He never became what the White Sox were hoping for when they acquired him and others in the Chris Sale trade, mostly due to persistent injuries and struggles with control, but there was no doubting his potential to make batters look silly.

After two years of trying to make Kopech work as a starter, the White Sox moved him to the bullpen this season. He holds a 5.18 ERA as of Wednesday, and now he can say he has accomplished something very few other pitchers have.



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