Michael Kopech becomes first White Sox pitcher to throw immaculate inning in more than a century

Michael Kopech was immaculate for the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

The flamethrowing reliever made MLB history while closing out the Minnesota Twins in the first leg of a doubleheader, throwing an immaculate inning in the ninth inning of a 3-1 win. An immaculate inning is when a pitcher strikes out all three batters in an inning with nine pitches total.

Kopech's three victims: Brooks Lee, Matt Wallner and Max Kepler.

The immaculate inning is the 114th in MLB history, making the feat more rare than a no-hitter or cycle, and the second in White Sox history. The only other pitcher to do so was the immaculately named Sloppy Thurston on Aug. 22, 1923, more than a century ago.

The last pitcher to throw one at all was the Pittsburgh Pirates' Johan Oviedo on May 24 of last season.

The full pitch mix of Kopech's accomplishment:

• 97.3 mph fastball (foul)• 90.1 mph cutter (foul)• 100.1 mph fastball (called strike)• 98.4 mph fastball (swinging strike)• 91.5 mph cutter (foul)• 100.5 mph fastball (swinging strike)• 91.1 mph cutter (swinging strike)• 90.0 mph cutter (called strike)• 100.1 mph fastball (swinging strike)

The accomplishment is an appropriate one for Kopech, who was once among the top prospects in all of baseball because of his triple-digit heat. He never became what the White Sox were hoping for when they acquired him and others in the Chris Sale trade, mostly due to persistent injuries and struggles with control, but there was no doubting his potential to make batters look silly.

After two years of trying to make Kopech work as a starter, the White Sox moved him to the bullpen this season. He holds a 5.18 ERA as of Wednesday, but now he can at least say he's accomplished something very few other pitchers have.

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