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More on the Immaculate Hayden Wesneski

Because it’s so rare and because it’s a bit esoteric, I think we probably weren’t hyped enough about Hayden Wesneski’s impeccable collection last night. Again, that’s when a pitcher hits the side on just nine pitches.

Here’s every pitch Wesneski threw in that inning:

For the Chicago Cubs, there are only FOUR OTHER recorded impeccable innings in team history (LaTroy Hawkins (September 11, 2004), Lynn McGlothen (August 25, 1979), Bruce Sutter (September 8, 1977), and Milt Pappas (September 24, 1971) ). Anytime you’re only the fifth pitcher in the history of an organization to do something, that’s pretty special.

Even more fun, Wesneski admitted that he was completely thinking about history as it happened.

“It’s crazy,” Wesneski said, per Cubs.com. “You start thinking about it like the seventh, eighth throw. And then the ninth, you just kind of let it rip and hope it happens.

David Ross, himself a well-traveled catcher, said he didn’t think he was ever part of a flawless inning. So that might have been his first in the game too.

But Yan Gomes, who caught Wesneski, could not give him the same love. From Cubs.com:

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Wesneski said he pitched an impeccable inning against Stetson during his junior year at Sam Houston State, but it was “nothing like that.” When Wesneski left the field after the fifth, he was completely absorbed in the moment and had a question for veteran catcher Yan Gomes.

“I go, ‘Yan, did you ever catch one?'” Wesneski said. ‘He says, ‘Yeah, I caught four or five.’ I was like, ‘Come on. Give me a little love. At least a little love.’ He still thought it was cool. It was still a really cool moment.”

“I probably should have let him have it,” Gomes joked. “Like, ‘Yeah, no, that’s my first!'”

That’s hilarious. Grizzled vet just won’t give it to the kid. No, but I’m sure Gomes really thought it was a great moment and was proud of it. After all, he got to call the pitches!

Cubs assistant pitching coach Daniel Moskos, who worked with Wesneski on the Yankees’ farming system, was effusive in his praise of Wesneski’s current material and future potential:

“What gets me excited about him is that it’s not just the pitcher we get,” assistant pitch coach Daniel Moskos said in an interview with the Sun-Times. “It’s the pitcher we could have in the future. Because if he’s not good at something, he wants to work on it, he wants to find the problem, what didn’t lead to success or what led to success. Let’s keep doing that, or let’s work on the adjustment. He just has a good head on his shoulders.”

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Moskos went on to talk about the quick adjustments Wesneski has made with his slider location, trying not to leave it over the center of the plate because he didn’t bury it enough on the glove side. That was what happened on a couple of homeruns against the Giants, and he quickly made the adjustment in his next appearance against the Rockies. (His two hits from last night came on a sinker and a cutter, for what it’s worth.)

A flawless collection is a rare thing, in part, because there’s some flukiness to it. Even good pitches are sometimes brought into play, and close pitches are sometimes referred to as balls. But you have to have at least a basic command and stuff to pull it off — even for an inning — and it’s pretty tempting to see Wesneski doing it as a rookie.

You will be reminded that he got red hot during his last three appearances at Triple-A Iowa (after some time adjustment/optimization in a new organization?) (22.0 IP).

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