Cardinals Reliever Accomplishes One of the Rarest Feats in Baseball

In the grueling endeavor of pitching, few acts showcase such a combination of force and finesse as an immaculate inning, which Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley showcased yesterday. Helsley recorded just the 109th recorded immaculate inning in MLB history, striking out the side on 3 pitches each. He joined legendary starter Bob Gibson and All-Star closer Jason Isringhausen as the only pitchers to do so in franchise history.

Helsley, who has been a revelation this season for the Cardinals bullpen, accomplished the feat while closing out a 6-5 win for St. Louis over the Reds. His devastating fastball-slider combo was on full display, forcing hitters to swing at 100 MPH at the top of the zone before baiting them into swinging at sliders in the dirt. All three of his strikeouts came on swings, showcasing the blend of craftiness and overpowering stuff that has allowed Helsley to emerge as such a dominant force in the league.

As Ryan Spaeder shared on Twitter, the immaculate inning is even rarer than the perfect game, reflecting the miracle run the Cardinals are having in the second half, with Nolan Arenado’s superhuman plays, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright on their farewell tours, and Albert Pujols making a run at 700 home runs. The Cards will have to hope their good fortune extends into a deep playoff run.

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