Utility man Inglett throws scoreless frame

Utility man Inglett throws scoreless frame

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ken Macha does not like to use position players as pitchers. A week ago, Macha went so far as to call it "embarrassing."

Yet with the Brewers trailing the Reds, 12-4, on Tuesday, Macha asked utility man Joe Inglett to pitch the ninth.

Inglett was the first Brewers position player to pitch since infielder Trent Durrington threw on April 17, 2004, in Houston. Five other position players have taken the mound so far this season, including Felipe Lopez and Joe Mather for the Cardinals on April 17 and Jonathan Van Every on May 8 for Boston. Former Brewers utility man Bill Hall also pitched for the Red Sox on May 28, and he was joined by Houston's Kevin Cash the same day, who pitched for the Astros against the Reds.

"It's really the first time I've ever used a position player, even when I managed in the Minor Leagues," Macha said. "It was interesting. He was throwing 51 [mph] and got them out."

Inglett was effective, retiring the top of the Reds' lineup in order. Brandon Phillips, Orlando Cabrera and Joey Votto had combined to go 11-for-15 (.733) before facing Inglett, driving in four runs with seven runs scored.

Against Inglett, the top of the Reds' order managed a popup to third, a groundout to second base and a long flyout to center field.

"One, two, three. That's all I can say," right-handed starter Yovani Gallardo said of Inglett. "I was pretty impressed. For him to go in there and get three outs, he made it seem easy."

Inglett touched 56 mph on the radar gun once, with his average pitch speed at 54 mph.

While the pitches registered as knuckleballs on the pitch tracker, catcher Jonathan Lucroy said Inglett was just throwing the ball to the glove.

"I put down fastball, but it wasn't fast," Lucroy said. "It's just flipping them in there. That's all it is. Just trying to save our pitching staff for tomorrow."

Macha said that the status of his pitching staff was the reason he called for Inglett on the mound. After Gallardo went just 2 2/3 innings, Macha used Todd Coffey for one-third of an inning to close out the third.

Long-reliever Chris Capuano pitched three innings, followed by David Riske for the seventh and Trevor Hoffman for the eighth.

While Macha had four pitchers -- Kameron Loe, John Axford, Carlos Villanueva and lefty Zach Braddock -- remaining in the bullpen, none were available.

"Loe needed another day. I wasn't going to use Axford. Capuano, I used him, so I needed a lefty [Braddock] for tomorrow," Macha said. "I thought it would be ill-advised if I used Villa. But when your starter doesn't get three innings in, that happens."

Inglett, who did not want to talk about his Major League pitching debut after the game, was volunteered by his manager.

"I asked him if he'd pitched before," Macha said. "He said, 'I'll go do that.'"