Pinch-hitting proves to be Inglett's strength

Pinch-hitting proves to be Inglett's strength

MILWAUKEE -- Somebody remind the Brewers' Joe Inglett that pinch-hitting is supposed to be baseball's toughest task.

Inglett's Major League-leading 15th pinch-hit was a two-run home run Friday night, and a few minutes later Inglett was the first man out of the dugout to celebrate Prince Fielder's game-winning single. Inglett improved to 15-for-46 (.326) off the bench this season, and he's a big reason that the Brewers pinch-hitters lead the Majors with a .291 batting average (39-for-134) and a .375 on-base percentage.

"Just grind through," Inglett said of his approach to the role. "[Batting practice] is my game, so I really have to take it that way so I'm ready for the game. That's really my approach."

And he's been very good at it. As a midgame sub, Inglett is 19-for-56 (.339). But in his 12 starts, he's 8-for-41 (.195).

"He got to play a week in a row and didn't get a hit, so I don't know," manager Ken Macha said. "He's better suited for pinch-hitting, which is unusual."

So Macha is trying to maximize Inglett's strong suit, and that usually means pinch-hit at-bats against right-handed pitchers. Inglett is hitless in 19 plate appearances against lefties this season with three walks.