A pitcher who spent 7 years in the minors threw just the 101st immaculate inning in MLB history

Kyle Finnegan

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  • MLB pitcher Kyle Finnegan struck out all three batters in an inning with just nine pitches.

  • Finnegan didn’t even realize he was in his feat until his second-to-last pitch.

  • Finnegan is in just his second MLB season at 29 after spending seven years in the minors.

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Washington Nationals pitcher Kyle Finnegan recorded an immaculate inning on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Braves, marking a historic feat after a longer-than-usual journey to the majors.

Finnegan came into the game in the sixth inning and struck out all three batters he faced with just nine pitches, just the 101st “immaculate inning” in MLB history.

“It wasn’t until the eighth and ninth [pitches] that I was actually fully aware of what was going on,” Finnegan said after the game. “At that point, I was just telling myself, ‘At least give it a chance. Make sure these next two are in the zone and see what happens.'”

The Nationals ultimately lost the game 5-3, but Finnegan’s personal victory was celebrated by his teammates, including starting pitcher Erick Fedde.

“For a game that’s been around that long, that’s pretty impressive,” starting pitcher Erick Fedde said. “It’s fun to see people be successful. He’s a great guy, so it’s awesome to see him dominate.”

For Finnegan, reaching the historical feat did not come quick or easy. He is only in his second MLB season, and first full season, at 29.

After getting drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, Finnegan spent the next seven years in Oakland’s farm system as a struggling starting pitching prospect., a disappointment for a player drafted that high.

Finnegan became eligible to be a free agent after the 2019 season. The Nationals took a chance on him by signing him to a minimum contract with an annual salary of $563,500.

His much-delayed rookie year in the majors saw him go 1-0 with an ERA of 2.92. So far this season, he is 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA. But his immaculate inning on Wednesday will live in Nationals lore forever, as he joins Stephen Strasburg (June 3, 2019, vs. Marlins), Max Scherzer (June 5, 2018, vs. Rays and May 14, 2017, vs. Phillies) and Jordan Zimmermann (May 6, 2011, vs. Marlins) as the only Nationals pitchers to accomplish the feat, which is statistically rarer than throwing a perfect game.

“It still doesn’t feel real now that it’s happened,” Finnegan said. “I’m grateful for every day that I have here, and to be able to do something like that is something I’ll remember for the rest of my career.”

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