Striking out four in an inning is something a pitcher cannot do all by himself. He needs a little help.
He needs a batter to swing at a ball in the dirt or over his head that misses the catcher and goes for a wild pitch that lets the batter go to first base. Or the catcher can miss a third strike, with the passed ball allowing the batter to reach first.
Right-hander Steve Delabar became the first Blue Jays pitcher to strike out four in an inning and the first major-leaguer to do it in extra innings Monday when Toronto beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 in 11.
Delabar who picked up the win by pitching the 10th and 11th, struck out four in the 10th inning. It was made possible when Jeff Mathis was charged with a passed ball on the second strikeout to Tyler Flowers, who reached first base.
Delabar struck out Dayan Viciedo, Flowers, Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza. He also struck out two of his three batters in the 11th for six on the game. He has 14 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings since joining the Blue Jays at the end of July from the Mariners, who received outfielder Eric Thames.
"There are all kinds of records out there that guys can set, and I'm just privileged to be part of it," Delabar said. "The split is my second pitch that we go to. I throw it to righties, throw it to lefties, and just try to get everybody out with it. It was just a really good day for it. They were swinging over the top of it. I tried to get ahead with it also, and when I throw it for strikes, it's really tough on them."