This is how Tuesday's appearance went for Cincinnati Reds reliever Steve Delabar after he entered in the fifth with runners on first and third after another abysmal outing from starter Alfredo Simon: walk to load the bases, strike out, walk, walk, walk, walk.
Yes, that's four walks in a row with the bases loaded, the first time that's happened since May 9, 2004, when three Dodgers pitchers walked four Pirates. Delabar also became the first pitcher to walk five batters in a six-batter stretch since Pat Combs in 1991.
The amazing thing about Delabar's outing is that all four of those walks came on 3-2 pitches. He walked Mike Napoli on a splitter, Jose Ramirez on a fastball, Yan Gomes on a fastball and Lonnie Chisenhall on a fastball. Here's what it looked like:
Steve Delabar's 36-pitch inning. Six batters faced, five walks, including a four in a row with the bases loaded. pic.twitter.com/OQgRELMt2E— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) May 18, 2016
You have to feel bad for the guy. He was one of the best stories in recent years when he made the 2013 All-Star Game while with the Blue Jays. Delabar had pitched in the minor leagues with the Padres from 2004 through 2008, never climbing above Class A, before getting released and then breaking his elbow. He not only underwent Tommy John surgery but had a metal plate and screws installed in his right arm. He was out of baseball for two years and making $75 a day working as a substitute teacher. He was also working as a pitching instructor at an indoor baseball facility and suddenly started throwing 95 mph, harder than he threw before his injury. The Mariners signed him and he was in the majors a few months. Two years after that, he was an All-Star, and I don't think anybody was more appreciative of being at Citi Field that year. He even struck out the one batter he faced.
Delabar has battled injuries the past two seasons, and the Reds are giving him a chance. Heck, the Reds might be willing to give any reliever with a heartbeat a chance. Their bullpen now has a 6.46 ERA in an era when building bullpens is supposed to be easier than ever. That would easily be the highest ERA ever for a modern bullpen; the 2007 Devil Rays had a 6.16 ERA and promptly changed their name to the Rays.
The Indians beat the Reds 13-1 on Tuesday. Simon allowed 10 runs on 14 hits, pushing his ERA to 10.34, and you wonder when the Reds will pull the plug on him. The Indians beat the Reds 15-6 the night before. Cleveland will try to make it three in a row when the home-and-home series shifts to Cincinnati on Wednesday and Thursday. Anybody want to take the over on the runs?