Delabar nearly perfect in Wizards win

Fort Wayne, IN: Recently demoted pitcher Steve Delabar pitched seven scoreless innings, in which the first five and two-thirds were perfect, to beat the West Michigan Whitecaps 2-1 for the Wizards second victory in a row.

After the game Steve Delabar, who said the reason he was sent down was to get more innings as a starter which were not available to him in Lake Elsinore, credited his success to his new pitch, the two-seam fastball, which dives in the zone as opposed to a four-seam fastball which comes in at greater velocity, but in a straighter line.

"When I first got back down here Wally [Whitehurst the Wizards' pitching coach] asked if I threw the two-seam fastball and I said no, and he said ‘why not?'

"Tonight was the first night I really used it and it helped me to keep the batters off-balance," said Delabar after the game.

The Wizards scoring was assisted by two costly miscues by the Whitecaps, which marred an otherwise stellar pitching performance by Chris Cody who struck out nine against no walks in 7.2 innings.

In the bottom of the third, Wizards catcher Matt Stocco doubled down the left field line, but should have been thrown out by a significant distance, if the second baseman hadn't dropped the ball when attempting to apply the tag. The Whitecaps continued their generosity when the catcher then dropped the ball as Stocco lumbered home from second base to give the Wizards the early 1-0 advantage.

In the fourth inning, the Wizards again took advantage of another Whitecaps mistake when designated hitter Sam Carter was able to stretch a single into a double on another dropped tag by the second baseman Scott Sizemore. Sizemore then compounded this miscue on the next play by making a throwing error to first base on first baseman Daryl Jones' hit up the middle, which pulled the first baseman off of the bag, giving the Wizards their second, and ultimately deciding, run of the game.

Delabar came out to start the eighth inning, but hit the first batter and was immediately replaced by Wilton Lopez.

"We asked Stevie if he was ok to come out for the eighth inning, and of course he lied to us and said he was," said a laughing Doug Dascenzo, the manager of the Wizards, after the game, ‘but that was all right. We brought in Wilton and he shut them down."

In the ninth, West Michigan mounted a rally when Whitecaps catcher James Skelton led off the inning with a perfect drag bunt down the third base line. Third baseman Santo De Leon then doubled him home with one out, but was stranded at second base, as Rolando Valdez was able to induce the next two batters to ground out.

"Cody is one of the toughest pitchers in the league, the guys pulled off a couple of hustle doubles, and Delabar pitched very well," said Dascenzo.

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