Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Johan Oviedo threw an immaculate inning against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
For those who may not be aware, an immaculate inning is when a pitcher throws just nine pitches to retire the side in order. With Pittsburgh trailing 3-2 in the top of the 4th inning in Wednesday's game, Oviedo accomplished the historic feat, video via MLB on Twitter.
Johan Oviedo with an immaculate inning. 😱 pic.twitter.com/mSIyFq1DOO
— MLB (@MLB) May 24, 2023
Oviedo began the inning by striking out Jonah Heim on three pitches. Robbie Grossman then watched two strikes go by before swinging at strike three. Finally, Josh Smith was caught looking at strike three to complete the immaculate inning for Oviedo. Although the Pirates were trailing at the time, it was still an incredible moment.
Pirates' immaculate inning: How rare is it?
With Johan Oviedo of the Pirates throwing an immaculate inning on Wednesday, many fans are likely wondering how rare the feat truly is.
Oviedo became just the 112th pitcher in MLB history to throw an immaculate inning, per Baseball Almanac. The most recent occurrence of the feat came on May 4, 2023, with Pirates pitcher Colin Holderman doing it against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Throwing an immaculate inning is extremely difficult since MLB hitters are so talented. The chances of blowing nine straight pitches in a row past big league sluggers is difficult. Opting to stay in the strike zone is risky as well. And trying to throw a waste pitch can lead to the immaculate inning coming to an end.
The Pirates are currently hovering around the .500 mark in 2023, but they have the two most recent pitchers to accomplish the impressive feat on their team.