This is our old blog. It hasn't been active since 2011. Please see the link above for our current blog or click the logo above to see all of the great data and content on this site.

Juan Perez pitches a perfect inning

Posted by Andy on July 9, 2011

Thanks to reader Jim P. for emailing in about this.

Last night the Phillies' Juan Perez pitched a perfect inning, meaning 3 strikeouts coming on a total of 9 pitches.

Here are the most recent guys to pitch a perfect inning, where that inning was his entire appearance:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP SO Pit Str
1 Juan Perez 2011-07-08 PHI ATL W 3-2 10-10f,W 1.0 3 9 9
2 Rafael Soriano 2010-08-23 TBR LAA W 4-3 9-9f ,S 1.0 3 9 9
3 LaTroy Hawkins 2004-09-11 CHC FLA W 5-2 9-9f ,S 1.0 3 9 9
4 Jason Isringhausen 2002-04-13 STL HOU W 2-1 9-9f ,W 1.0 3 9 9
5 Ugueth Urbina 2000-04-04 MON LAD L 4-10 9-9f 1.0 3 9 9
6 Doug Jones 1997-09-23 (1) MIL KCR W 7-4 9-9f ,S 1.0 3 9 9
7 Todd Worrell 1995-08-13 LAD PIT W 4-1 9-9f ,S 1.0 3 9 9
8 Stan Belinda 1994-08-06 KCR SEA L 2-11 9-9f 1.0 3 9 9
9 Pedro Borbon 1979-06-23 CIN SFG L 2-5 9-9f 1.0 3 9 9
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/9/2011.

Pitch count data only goes back to the late 1980s for most teams, so we can't search before that.

There have also been lots of other times a pitcher has recorded a perfect inning but it came as part of a longer appearance--for example the starter might strike out the side on 9 pitches in the 4th inning--but that wouldn't show up in this search.

36 Responses to “Juan Perez pitches a perfect inning”

  1. Proudhon Says:

    If memory serves me, Sandy Koufax did this when he no-hit the Mets in 1962. First inning, nine pitches, three strikeouts.

  2. Steve Says:

    A perfect inning would be 3 pitches 3 outs.(I know,kidding.)

  3. Tony Pavon Says:

    Now this is a perfect inning..... 1 pitch, 3 outs....
    Jeff Nelson 1995-07-13 .... 9th inning...

  4. WanderingWinder Says:

    Why even make them have thrown a pitch? 3 outs on no pitches is even more impressive.

    ...yeah, I don't have any references on when that happened.

  5. Evan Says:

    I remember listening to Isringhausen's inning on the radio. It happened 2 appearances and a few days after he entered another game in the 9th up 6-5 with a man on 2nd and no outs and recorded 3 straight strikeouts on 10 pitches. With these two outings coming in such close proximity to each other and the state of the internet at that time, I don't think I realized quite how unusual the 9 pitch, 3K performance was.

  6. Jim Says:

    I was watching the Phils game last night when this happened. Don't think I've ever seen it before. Quite impressive!

  7. Travis Says:

    Complete list . It never would have occurred to me that this was so rare. More amazing is that it was his first career win as a journeyman 32 year old in only his 18th inning pitched and only the 12th complete inning.

  8. Mustachioed Repetition Says:

    I'm pretty sure Borbon's does not count. If you look at the log, you'll see that for much of the game, it's counting the minimum number of pitches possible for each PA. Each K was on an 0-2 count, each walk on 3-0, each ball in play on the first pitch. There are a lot of these games in '79 for some reason.

    There used to be games with partial pitch count data, and some innings or PA for which it didn't exist would just be left blank. It *seems* like those games have now been filled out with fake data for all the unknown parts. If that's what happened, I don't understand the decision. It's worse to have inaccurate data, especially when it is presented as real, than no data at all.

  9. LJF Says:

    How about 3 outs (and getting credit for the win) without retiring a batter?

  10. jim Says:

    i thought this was called an immaculate inning? since wouldn't a perfect inning just be not allowing a baserunner, based off the same 'perfect' as 'perfect game'

  11. Dcarson10 Says:

    Didn't Pedro do this in an all-star game? Or did he just strike out every batter e faced?

  12. Nate G. Says:

    Wait a sec, Jordan Zimmermann did that earlier this season:

  13. Nate G. Says:


    Reading comprehension is good

  14. Charles Says:

    wikipedia lists 42 pitchers who have struck out 3 batters in 1 inning on 9 pitches since 1889, but most of them pitched in more than 1 inning that game. It is called an immaculate inning.

    Jeff Nelson (in relief) in 1995 threw 1 pitch and the batter bunted it back to him to start a triple play in the 9th inning of a loss.

  15. Jonas Says:

    LGF, that is a great find. A win while giving up a hit and a walk, retiring no batters, but picking off three baserunners. One thing you can say about Tippy Martinez, he was one of those pitchers who knew how to win!

  16. Jeff Says:

    @ 9, 15 The catcher was not a real catcher, so he had to pick those guys off.

  17. BSK Says:

    What about pitchers with more outs recorded than pitches thrown? Obviously, the Stanton game qualifies, as does any other game where a reliever comes in and induces a DP on his first pitch and is then removed. How common is that?

  18. Tony Pavon Says:

    here are two good ones.... getting the W without throwing a pitch.....

    1 Alan Embree 2009-07-07
    2 B. J. Ryan 2003-05-01

  19. MichaelPat Says:

    August 24, 1983.

    The Toronto Blue Jays were finally out of the wilderness, after god knows how many years in last place. Pat Gillick was in town building a winner, I had discovered the Abstract, and the combination had rekindled my passion for the game.

    The Jays were in a five-team dogfight in the (old) AL East. They spent much of July in first, and were still in the thick of it in late August. A key series in Baltimore started with a convincing 9-3 win that brought them back to within 1½ games of first.

    On the 24th, in game two, Jim Clancy and Scott McGregor pitched well, and the Jays carried a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Clancy got Lowenstein on a fly ball, then John Shelby beat out a bunt. He got Roenicke on strikes, but walked Lenn Sakata.

    Catcher Joe Nolan – who had pinch hit for Rick Dempsey with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh – was due up. Knowing the Os didn`t have another catcher, Bobby Cox pulled the trigger, and brought in a lefty, Dave Geisel. So Altobelli sent up Benny Ayala to pinch hit.
    Ayala came through with an RBI single, and Al Bumbry then tied it up with another single, this one scoring Sakata. Cox brought in Joey McLaughlin and he ended the inning by striking out Dan Ford.

    So off to the tenth, and Altobelli has to use his emergency catcher, Lenn Sakata, in his first (and only) pro appearance behind the plate. The Jays can't wait. (also new on the infield for the tenth: Gary Roenicke, one of 5 career appearances at 3rd, John Lowenstein at second base, for the first time in ten years)

    Cliff Johnson greets Tim Stoddad with a home run to put the Jays up, and then Barry Bonnell singles. Altobelli brings in Tippy Martinez.
    Who picks off Bonnell. (Caught, Bonnell, lit out for second, and was easy pickings.)

    Martinez then walks Dave Collins. He came to the Jays to steal, and can't wait to test Sakata... and Martinez picks him off!

    Next up, Willie Upshaw hits one to second base where John Lowenstein keeps it in the infield. Single.

    Guess what Tippy proceeded to do.... Yep, he picked off Upshaw.

    Things didn't get any better in the bottom of the inning... Cal Ripken led off with a homer to tie it, then Lenn Sakata made sure he wouldn't have to get back behind the plate by hitting a three-run shot.

    (The next day, Martinez was quoted as saying he kept throwing to first because Eddie Murray was the only guy on the infield he recognized.)

    Hmmpf! Welcome to the big time, Jays.

    Baltimore did it again the next night... Steib and Storm Davis 0-0 through nine. Jays get one in the 10th, and the Os responded with two.

    From August 24 to the end of the season, the Os went 29-12, blowing open a tight race to win by 6. The Jays went 19-18, and ended in fourth (best-ever to that point) six games out.

    I expect Lenn Sakata remembers this game!

  20. Doug Says:

    There have been 3 games this year and last year, where a pitcher has thrown no pitches and recorded an out (in each case, one out).

    Trever Miller..........2010-05-06....STL PHI....L 2-7
    Tony Sipp..............2010-07-25....CLE TBR....L 2-4
    Brayan Villarreal.....2011-04-12....DET TEX....W 5-4

  21. Doug Says:

    Re: "Pitch count data only goes back to the late 1980s for most teams, so we can't search before that."

    With the above caveat, PI shows 16 games (complete appearances) where a pitcher recorded an out without throwing a pitch. Of these, twelve occurred since 2000.

  22. allan Says:

    9 pitches - 3 K

    what i like is pitchers retiring the side on 3 pitches

  23. Devon Young Says:

    This list is incomplete... I know I saw Kim throw one of these for the D'backs several years ago. I think 2002? I was blown away by it.

  24. Devon Young Says:

    Oh yes... thanks Allan (commenter #22) ...good links. I knew I'd seen it.

  25. Ebessan Says:

    Juan is also the only one to do it in his first win.

  26. Jeff Says:

    Juan Perez has given up no hits for the entire season. I think he's here to stay.

  27. tim Says:

    Perhaps striking out all 27 batters could be called an absolutely perfect game, although an absolutely perfect game would be 27 soft pop outs, in foul territory, on 27 pitches.

  28. DoubleDiamond Says:

    I wonder how many "near immaculate" innings there have been in which there were three strikeouts, with no balls called, but with one or more two-strike fouls.

  29. Charles Says:

    @28 For pitchers pitching only 1 inning.
    Francisco Rodriguez threw 10 strikes on July 17, 2004.
    Manuel Corpas threw 12 strikes on July 17, 2007.

  30. Fireworks Says:

    @ 9 15 16 19

  31. mceraolo Says:

    It very nearly happened again today: Vinnie Pestano struck out the side on 10 pitches, one being fouled off, in his only inning.

  32. topper009 Says:

    I like to call this a "Steve Nebraska inning" based on the terrible movie, The Scout, with Brendan Frasier who finishes the movie by throwing an 81 pitch, 27 strikeout perfect game.

  33. Tom Says:

    LMFAO AT 32

  34. Charles Says:

    @27 the perfect game will never end. The visiting team has by far the best record in the league, the home team is in the same division in 3rd place. At the top of the first inning the batters hit 3 weak popups to the pitcher. In the bottom all the players hit HR's on the first pitch. The game is called because of curfew. Attempts to finish the game result in the same. Multiple players for the visiting team ruin their arms pitching. Substitute players are brought in for players placed on the DL list. The two teams tie for the Wild Card after 161 games. Attempts to finish the game are unsuccessful. The Commisioner rules they have to have a coin toss. None of the 100's of HRs are officially counted for the home team. The sore armed team wins the coin toss and call up players from the Rookie league to fill the roster for the playoffs and lose 3 straight 27 strikeout games by huge margins.

  35. Juan Perez – 2007 Topps « Smed's Baseball Card Blog Says:

    [...] What? Yes, a perfect inning. [...]

  36. 3+ walks in 0 innings » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive Says:

    [...] Perez, who had 41 Ks and 21 walks in 31 IP at AAA this year, was mentioned by Andy when he struck out the side on 9 pitches July 8. Perez struck out 3 of 5 batters in his next 2 [...]