Walking back to the mound with a big smile on his face, Astros reliever Will Harris knew he had accomplished something special.
Throwing a total of nine pitches, Astros reliever Will Harris struck out all three Angels hitters that he faced in the eighth inning on Friday night. In doing so, he accomplished what is known as an immaculate inning.
Harris became the 92nd pitcher in Major League history and the sixth pitcher in franchise history to achieve an immaculate inning. The last Astros pitcher to do so was Brandon Backe in 2004.
I knew something special had just happened when Harris was walking off the mound because I have never seen him smile. To be honest, I wasn’t even aware that an immaculate inning was a thing.
To strike out the side using only nine pitches seems like a pretty rare feat, but to my surprise, Harris is the eighth pitcher to do it this season. There are seven pitchers who have actually done this more than once and Sandy Koufax managed to do it three times.
Harris is not the only pitcher on the Astros staff to attain an immaculate inning. Wade Miley did it as a rookie in 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Astros legend Nolan Ryan also did it as a rookie with the Mets in 1968.
Harris has quietly had a great 2019 season and hopefully this will get people to notice just how good he has been. He has not given up a run in his last seven outings and has his ERA down to 1.51.
He was left off the ALCS roster last season, but there is no doubt in my mind he will be pitching out of the bullpen for the Astros throughout the playoffs, as he has become one of the most reliable pitchers coming out of the bullpen in 2019.