Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Buddy Carlyle's Moment of History

Edward "Buddy" Carlyle, Jr, has been the very definition of "journeyman" pitcher over the last ten years. Drafted out of Bellvue East HS (Nebraska) in 1996, the Cincinnati Reds assigned Carlyle to their rookie league team in Princeton. Two years later he was traded to the Padres' organization, and continued to put up good (if not overwhelming) peripheral numbers in the minors. His 3-to-1 K:BB ratio was of particular note, and was probably part of the reason the Padres gave Carlyle his "Cup of Coffee" in late August, 1999. A little less than eight years later, Carlyle would become a member of a quite prestigious group- those who have pitched an immaculate inning.

A little over a year after his major league debut, Carlyle was sold to the Hanshin Tigers of the Japan League. Following about a season of work overseas, Carlyle signed a minor league contract with the Royals, and followed that up with other minor league contracts with the Dodgers, Yankees, and Marlins before signing with the Braves this offseason. In nine starts, Carlyle has proven to be a league-average starter and continues his good command, striking out 38 to just 13 walks in 51 innings. None of the strikeouts were as momentous as the ones that came during the fourth inning of his game on July 6, 2007.

Carlyle had calmed down after allowing two runs in the bottom of the first, and in the top of the fourth recorded his first career MLB run batted in, on a line drive single to center. He then took the hill for the bottom of the frame and faced Khalil Greene, whom he set down on three pitches. Russell Branyan followed, fouling off two pitches and missing the third strike. Jose Cruz Jr stepped up and took the first pitch and missed swinging at the final two. Buddy Carlyle had recorded an immaculate inning, just the 37th pitcher to do so since 1958, and only the 40th time such an impressive moment of pitching dominance had occured. Inexplicably, the recap of the game failed to call this feat by its correct name, instead going with the verbose "pitchers who have struck out three batters on nine pitches." Immaculate Innng is way more... immaculate, no?

So without further ado, we would like to present Buddy Carlyle with the Immacualte Inning Lifetime Achievement Award, reserved for those who acheive this amazing and rare feat. Congrats Buddy, and get thee to a Publix for your complementary cookies.

Video can be found in the links here.

No comments: