Ten pitchers who struck out four batters in a single inning:
- Archie Corbin (April 28, 1999)
- Hooks Wiltse (May 15, 1906)
- Kerry Wood (September 2, 2002)
- Orval Overall (October 14, 1908)
- Jerry Spradlin (July 22, 1999)
- Blake Stein (July 27, 1998)
- Bob Gibson (June 7, 1966)
- Matt Young (September 9, 1990)
- Bruce Ruffin (July 25, 1996)
- Jim Davis (May 27, 1956)
Today's list was suggested to me by my good friend Eric Kripke.
Ah ha ha, but of course I am making with the joke. Earlier today I needed to look up who currently holds the career record for having been struck out most often (Reggie Jackson), and I happened to notice a link to a web ste purporting to list pitchers who had struck out four batters in a single inning. Now, I'm not a baseball fan, but even I know that there are only three outs in any given inning. So how could this be?
Well, it's like this. If the pitcher throws a third strike, but the catcher fails to field it cleanly -- i.e. he drops it -- or it gets stuck in the umpire's mask, the batter gets to advance to first base. But it still counts as a strikeout. The first pitcher to accomplish this unusual feat was Bobby Mathews of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1885; it's happened another 49 times since then.