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Game 150 // Eighth Inning // The Three-Pitch Inning

Groundout. Groundout. Pop fly. 

Mike Minor just threw a three-pitch inning.


Here’s the video:




It’s the kind of thing that would go down as a milestone, with less than a handful each year—except for the context.

Going into the inning, he’s at 199 strikeouts on the year.

It’s his last start. He’s thrown 117 pitches already. Left in by the manager for the chance at the 200/200 club, having passed the 200-innings mark earlier in the game.




So he comes out to the mound with one thing on his mind: throw a strikeout.

Just one.

And then, a walk to the bench. An ovation. A long, healthy offseason.

Just throw one strikeout.

Instead, he milestones his way out of the real milestone.




Thinking about it though, this whole thing may not have been so coincidental.

If the Red Sox, to ruin the whole plan, undid his milestone chase by throwing another milestone his way—a kind of Indiana Jones treasure swap maneuver that put the ball in play three pitches in a row.

And it works. Number 200 doesn’t happen.




Until the ninth inning came around.

And something even more unusual happened. With the eighth having been that short, despite the high pitch-count, Minor was able to go back out for one last go at 200 K’s. And he gets the first out, on a fly ball to left.

And then Owings hits a foul pop-up. An easy infield catch.

And Ronald Guzman lets it drop. 




Giving Minor the gift of a second strike, rather than a second out. Unreal awareness. Teamwork. Weirdness. Awesomeness. Wrongness? Rightness?

And just like they drew it up, the 200th K came on the very next pitch.

Watch it here:




A few more details on the whole thing here:





So by the end of the game, Mike Minor pitched through the hijinks, the fatigue, and had not one, not two, but three milestones. On his final day on the mound in 2019.

200 innings. 200 strikeouts. A three-pitch inning.


What a way to end a season.




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