Steve Delabar is one of the new guys. He spends part of every day hanging out in the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen. You may not have noticed him down there, because there are so many faces changing all the time. I might tell you about who’s who down there someday, but not today. Today, I’m just going to talk about Steve Delabar, because he had a night worth talking about.
On August 13, 2012, Steve entered the game, starting off the 10th inning against the White Sox. He was in the game because Casey Janssen, had, for the first time this season, failed to do his job. I would like to thank Casey, just this once, for screwing up at his job.
Thanks Casey, for blowing that save, we wouldn’t have this Steve Delabar outing to talk about without you. Well, you and Adam Dunn, but I digress.
The first batter Delabar faced was Dayan Viciedo. His at-bat looked like this.
Viciedo gets the classic “Good morning, good afternoon, good night.” treatment. Viciedo swings over strike three. Mathis blocks the pitch in the dirt, and he’s out.
Tyler Flowers, (least catcher-ish name ever, by the way), comes up and gets this treatment.
Delabar tries, unsuccessfully to hit the outside corner a couple of times. Then Flowers tries, unsuccessfully, to hit the splitter. Mathis is unsuccessful at catching the ball, and with the ball ricocheting off the backstop, Flowers takes first base.
Beckham comes up, having watched the first two batters strike out swinging on split-changes in the dirt.
Gordon finds himself equal to the task. He strikes out on 3 pitches. And also swings through a changeup well below the zone to finish his at-bat.
At this point, Delabar has struck out the first three hitters he has faced, and there is a runner on first because of the dropped third strike. Mathis had to block the last pitch to Beckham, too, but you can’t run to first when the base is occupied.
Now Alejandro De Aza comes up. He’s struck out 3 times in the game already. I can’t imagine he’s feeling optimistic at this point.
He really shouldn’t be. He can’t put the ball in play. Delabar has some serious funk on his pitches, as Mathis has another one get by him in this at-bat, and the runner goes to second. It makes no difference, as the fourth pitch is swung on and missed.
There it is. Baseball history.
— MLB (@MLB) August 14, 2012
There’s a first time for everything. Even if you don’t know it when you see it.
Delabar returned for the 11th inning, he struck out Kevin Youkilis. Then Adam Dunn grounded out. which is about as ironic as an at-bat gets. Dunn, for those of you who don’t know him, strikes out all the time. In 2012, he has already struck out 167 times. Which leads all of baseball, and he is on pace to rack up 227 Ks. That would break Mark Reynolds dubious record of 223 strikeouts from 2009. Why did Delabar induce a groundout from him last night? Because he’s into irony, obviously.
The last batter Delabar would face was Alex Rios, and he struck him out.
7 batters faced, 6 strikeouts, 2.0 innings pitched. From my friend Minor Leaguer:
All pitchers who have struck out 4 in an inning: baseball-almanac.com/feats/feats19.…
— Minor Leaguer (@Minor_Leaguer)
Making Delabar the only man to do this in a Blue Jay uniform. Also, the only thing that stopped Steve from being the only pitcher to strike out all 7 batters he faced in a 2 inning relief appearance? Adam Dunn.
Never take you eyes of the ball folks, anything can happen out there.