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Martin throws Braves' fifth immaculate inning

@paul_casella
September 12, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- Right-hander Chris Martin tossed just the fifth immaculate inning in Braves history in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Phillies. Nine pitches, nine strikes, three outs. Though Martin was the first Braves pitcher to accomplish the feat since Buddy Carlyle on July 6, 2007, Atlanta

PHILADELPHIA -- Right-hander Chris Martin tossed just the fifth immaculate inning in Braves history in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Phillies.

Nine pitches, nine strikes, three outs.

Though Martin was the first Braves pitcher to accomplish the feat since Buddy Carlyle on July 6, 2007, Atlanta catcher Tyler Flowers wasn't all that impressed.

Every immaculate inning in MLB history

"Is it that big of a deal?" Flowers quipped. "I only say that because I threw the ball in the stands and then [Mike] Soroka and [Max] Fried started yelling at me and I was like, ‘What?’ So I'm playing it off like it's not a big deal, because I threw it away.

"It was the only ball I threw into the stands all night. So I'm downplaying it."

After striking out Cesar Hernandez and Jay Bruce on three pitches each, Martin spotted a 95 mph fastball on the outside corner for a called strike three against Logan Morrison to finish the frame. Flowers held it just long enough for the home plate umpire to make the call, then jogged off the field and tossed the ball into the stands.

Along with Soroka and Fried getting on Flowers in the dugout, reliever Jerry Blevins pointed out in the clubhouse postgame that an immaculate inning is rarer than a no-hitter. Martin's immaculate inning was the 100th recorded in Major League history, while Justin Verlander just tossed the 303rd no-hitter on Sept. 1. As for the Braves specifically, they have 14 no-hitters as opposed to just five immaculate innings.

That said, the Braves have not thrown a no-hitter since 1994, while the immaculate inning has become more common in recent years. Martin's immaculate inning was the seventh in the Majors this season.

Regardless, Martin joins Carlyle, Joey McLaughlin (Sept. 11, 1979), Tony Cloninger (June 15, 1963) and Joe Oeschger (Sept. 8, 1921) as the only pitchers in franchise history to strike out the side on nine pitches.

"Pretty pinpoint with his heater," Flowers said. "When I asked for it up, I probably could have closed my eyes, he was putting it right there. He was pretty darn good."

Paul Casella is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.