It Happened Sunday & Only 8 New York Yankees Have Ever Done It
Some things in baseball seem like they would happen more than they do. For instance, a player hitting four home runs in a game has happened only 17 times in Major League Baseball history. On Sunday, a New York Yankees pitcher accomplished one of those rare baseball feats.
If your answer was Jonathan Loaisiga giving up 4 runs to the lowly Baltimore Orioles in the 8th inning of a scoreless game, sorry that has probably been done more times than you want to remember. Losing a weekend series to the Orioles another thing that should be rare, but unfortunately it's not. The infrequent achievement came at the hands of the masterful lefty, Nester Cortes, who was once again perfect in the Yankees 5-0 loss at the hands of Baltimore.
The mustached left-hander pitched five scoreless innings, while striking out 12. That was just the beginning. In the fourth inning of the scoreless game at the time, Cortes threw a total of nine pitches, nine strikes and registered three strikeouts. The Yankees hurler was facing meat of the Baltimore Orioles’ line-up the three, four and five hitters; Anthony Santander, Ryan McKenna and Robinson Chirnos; 9 pitches, all strikes, 3 strikeouts. His achievement is termed an "immaculate" inning.
According to Randy Miller of nj.com, Cortes' perfect inning was just the eighth in franchise history and first since Yankees reliever Michael King did it to the Boston Red Sox last season. He became the third Yankees left-hander to have an "immaculate" inning, joining former Yankees Al Downing in 1967 and Ron Guidry in 1984. Downing, as member of the Los Angelas Dodgers, also had the distinction of giving up Hank Aaron's 715th home run that broke Babe Ruth's longtime record in 1974.
Nester Cortes finished his outing with a career-high 12 strikeouts over 5-plus innings, leaving a scoreless game. It was his second scoreless appearance in a row to start the season. The lefty shut down the powerful Blue Jays line-up for 4 1/3 on Tuesday giving up no runs and 3 hits. Baltimore would score five runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Pinstripes 5-0 and took 2 out of 3 games in the weekend series.
YANKEES IMMACULATE INNINGS (THANKS TO RANDY MILLER OF NJ.COM!)
1. Al Downing: Aug. 11, 1967 vs. Indians, 2nd inning facing Tony Horton, Don Demeter and Duke Sims.
2. Ron Guidry: Aug. 7, 1984 vs. White Sox, 9th inning facing Carlton Fisk, Tom Paciorek and Greg Luzinski.
3. A.J. Burnett: June 20, 2009 vs. Marlins, 3rd inning facing Josh Johnson, Chris Coghlan and Emilio Bonifacio.
4. Ivan Nova: May 29, 2013 vs. Mets, 8th inning facing Ike Davis, Mike Baxter and Ruben Tejada.
5. Brandon McCarthy: Sept. 17, 2014 vs. Rays, 7th inning facing Wil Myers, Nick Franklin and Matt Joyce.
6. Dellin Betances: Aug. 2, 2017 vs. Tigers, 8th inning facing Jim Adduci, Justin Upton and Miguel Cabrera.
7. Michael King: June 4, 2021 vs. Red Sox, 4th inning facing Hunter Renfroe, Marvin Gonzalez and Christian Vazquez.
8. Nestor Cortes: April 22, 2022 vs. Orioles, 4th inning facing Anthony Santander, Ryan McKenna and Robinson Chirinos.