Posts Tagged ‘Joe Inglett’

Lindstrom blows three-run lead in the ninth

August 6, 2010 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — Wandy Rodriguez and the offense had the Brewers down, but Matt Lindstrom couldn’t deliver the knockout punch for the Astros.

With a three-run lead in the ninth, Lindstrom came on looking for his 23rd save of the season. Considering he hadn’t allowed a run in 10 2/3 innings over his last 10 outings, the outcome seemed pretty certain.

Enter Joe Inglett.

With one on and one out in the ninth, Inglett belted his first career pinch-hit homer, cutting the lead to 5-4. It wasn’t exactly a no-doubter, either, as the ball hit the right-field foul pole.

“It was hooking pretty quick,” Inglett said. “I was just willing it to stay fair, and it stayed fair. I thought it wrapped around the pole, but everybody is saying it hit.”

Three batters later, Prince Fielder ripped a two-run walk-off single down the line in right, sending the Brewers fans home happy with a 6-5 victory.

Before his two-run blast on Friday, Inglett had not hit a home run all season. In fact, his last blast came on Sept. 3, 2008, at Minnesota off Nick Blackburn.

For Inglett to come up with a home run in that situation, it was likely just about the last thing Astros manager Brad Mills expected.

“He’s done a pretty good job in the pinch for them so far this year, we knew that coming up,” Mills said of Inglett, who is batting .326 as a pinch-hitter this season with a Major League-leading 15 pinch-hits. “Expectations kind of go out the window a lot of times in this business anyway.”

After the home run, though, the Astros still led, 5-4. It was then that things really got bad for Lindstrom, who was unable to retire the final five Brewers he faced after retiring the first batter of the inning with a groundout.

Ahead, 0-2, on Rickie Weeks, a misplaced curveball from Lindstrom led to a single. He followed that by getting ahead of Corey Hart with a 1-2 count, before throwing three straight out of the zone.

Finally, a 1-0 sinker to Fielder was driven down the line, scoring Weeks and Hart from second and first.

“I kind of lost my location and just was trying to battle against myself a little bit trying to find the zone,” Lindstrom said. “I was getting ahead of hitters pretty good, but just threw too good of a pitch a couple times in the zone.

“The biggest thing was throwing bad pitches when I was ahead in the count and had pitches to waste.”

Prior to the thrilling finish, it was all about Rodriguez who turned in yet another gem on the mound.

Like the Astros as a whole, Rodriguez has been hot of late, turning around what began as a disappointing season.

Rodriguez went 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on eight hits while recording seven strikeouts.

“He just didn’t make many mistakes,” Fielder said. “He’s in and out. His curveball is pretty good. His pitches are in the zone, but they’re not quite where you can put good wood on it. He pitched a good game, and I’m glad we were able to come back.”

Despite missing out on the win, Rodriguez has gone 6-1 with a 1.86 ERA over his last eight starts, dating back to June 24. Up to that point, Rodriguez had gone 3-10 with a 6.09 ERA through his first 14 starts of the season.

The difference, Rodriguez said, has been all about location.

“My command on every one of my pitches. I missed a lot of my locations [early in the season],” Rodriguez said. “I feel more comfortable when I use all my pitches. I have better location right now.

As for Friday’s outing?

“I had a great breaking ball today and I used it a lot,” Rodriguez said. “I used [my changeup] only with Hart, because when I have my breaking ball, a good one like today, I use it a lot.”

For the Astros, the loss is their second in a row and their first against the Brewers in more than a month.

Houston entered carrying a winning streak of five games against Milwaukee, dating back to a 5-1 win on June 30 at Miller Park.

“You win some, you lose some,” Lindstrom said. “You’ve got to forget this one and go on to the next one.

“I take responsibility for this. It’s unacceptable having a three-run lead out there facing the bottom of the order and letting them get back in the game like that.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inglett’s instructions on mound: Go slow

July 28, 2010 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — When called upon to pitch the ninth inning Tuesday, utility man Joe Inglett was instructed not to try to light up the radar gun.

In the past, Brewers manager Ken Macha has seen less than stellar results from position players who can reach the 90-mph range on the mound.

“I remember one back in Houston where Davey Martinez, who’s the bench coach now for Tampa, center fielder, great arm — he wanted to pitch,” Macha said. “It was kind of like [Paul] Janish last year in Cincinnati, the guy’s throwing 90-plus and just getting raked.

“We had to take him out. We brought in Junior Noboa. He was throwing 60 and went 1-2-3. It’s below hitting speed.”

Another reason for Inglett to throw in the 50-mph range has more to do with health than his performance on the mound.

Earlier this season, Cardinals infielder Felipe Lopez hit the disabled list with an elbow injury just days after he pitched a scoreless 18th inning in a 20-inning game against the Mets. It’s unclear whether the injury was related to Lopez’ appearance on the mound, but it certainly couldn’t have helped.

While throwing slow could have helped prevent an injury to Inglett, choosing the utility man to pitch prevented another Brewers position player from developing an arm injury.

“You’ve got to have somebody that isn’t going to want to try to air it out,” third baseman Casey McGehee said. “You put [Alcides Escobar] up there, he might hit 100. But you’ve got to put somebody in that’s not going to try to light up the radar gun.

“The worst thing you can do is have somebody go out there like that and get hurt.”

Utility man Inglett throws scoreless inning

July 28, 2010 Comments off

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.'”

Brewers beat 5/27

May 27, 2010 Comments off

Hart quietly heating up at the plate

MILWAUKEE — After batting .172 with a .221 on-base percentage and 18 strikeouts in Spring Training, right fielder Corey Hart did not start for the Brewers on Opening Day. Seven weeks later, Hart has quietly become one of the Brewers’ hottest hitters.

Over the past 11 games, Hart is batting .295 (13-for-44) with six home runs, 11 RBIs, eight runs scored, two doubles and a triple. With less than a week remaining in the month, Hart’s numbers in May have already eclipsed those of April in nearly every offensive category.

With six home runs this month, Hart has already doubled his April home run output.

“I’ve been trying to stay consistent, but for some reason lately the ball’s been getting in the air for me,” Hart said. “Sometimes I’ll find a swing that makes me hit the ball in the air a little farther than other times, but it kind of comes and goes. Right now the ones I hit good are going in the air, so I’ve been fortunate to have that streak go a bit longer than normal.”

For the season, Hart is batting .263 with nine home runs — which ties him with Casey McGehee for the team lead — and 23 RBIs, which puts him fourth on the team.

Last weekend in Minneapolis, he hit home runs in each of the Brewers’ last two games against the Twins at Target Field, a ballpark that is near the bottom of the league in terms of home runs per game.

But with the way Hart was swinging the bat, his home runs would have been out of any park. His second homer, which came in the Brewers’ 4-3 win on Sunday, was the first to ever reach the third deck at Target Field.

At an estimated 440 feet, it was the longest home run hit in the short history of the ballpark.

Since sitting out the series opener against the Braves on May 10, Hart has started 13 straight games for the Brewers.

“Looking back at it, he didn’t start Opening Day,” manager Ken Macha said of Hart. “A big deal was made about that and that he didn’t have a very good Spring Training. He’s come out here and worked with [hitting coach] Dale [Sveum] pretty hard and it’s nice to see the work paying off.”

To begin the season, Hart split time with veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds at right field in what, for the most part, amounted to a platoon. While Macha never wanted to call it such, Edmonds typically got the call against right-handed starters, while Hart mostly faced lefties.

The most surprising instance, though, was on Opening Day, when Edmonds got the start over Hart with righty Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound for the Rockies.

While Macha said Edmonds was starting because Jimenez fell into the category of “tough righty,” it was a surprising move with it being Opening Day and with Hart expected to be the club’s everyday right fielder.

Though he credits some of his success to the swing he’s had of late, Hart sees his more consistent playing time as the most important factor in his recent hot streak. Due to a handful of injuries to other outfielders, Hart has started far more of late than he had been early in the season.

“That was stupid, Spring Training doesn’t matter, but they decided it mattered this year for some reason,” Hart said of his preseason slump. “I’m just working to try to turn their minds around. Hopefully I can keep playing well so I can stay in the lineup.

“Coming into this season I think there was a question mark about how long I’d be in Milwaukee. But I want to be here, so hopefully they see me as an everyday guy again.”

Edmonds expected to return on Monday

MILWAUKEE — After speaking with Jim Edmonds before Thursday’s series finale, Brewers manager Ken Macha was optimistic about his veteran outfielder’s chances of returning on Monday when he is eligible to come off the disabled list.

Edmonds, who has been on the DL since May 18 with a left oblique strain, did some soft toss and took some swings in the batting cage before Thursday’s game. Macha also noted Edmonds will be out for early batting practice on Friday.

Edmonds’ return will likely mean the departure of a member of the bullpen, but Macha was not ready to speculate about the move just yet.

“We’ll wait for that when it gets there,” Macha said.

The news of Edmonds’ progress was particularly good for the Brewers considering the uncertainty regarding his return just a few days ago.

When asked about Edmonds during the Minnesota series over the past weekend, Macha said he thought there may be a chance Edmonds would not be back when he was eligible to return on May 31.

“That’s encouraging,” said Macha, referring to Edmonds’ progress. “He’s feeling optimistic, so I trust Jimmy because he let me know at the beginning of the year. He said, ‘I’ll be ready.'”

Inglett available; Gerut remains out

MILWAUKEE — Brewers manager Ken Macha expected to have just two pinch-hitters available for Thursday’s series finale against the Astros: Joe Inglett and Craig Counsell.

Inglett, who had been limited since Saturday with a sprained left ankle, will likely be the Brewers’ top option off the bench Thursday in an injury or pinch-hit situation. Macha said he wanted to get Counsell in the starting lineup, but did not want to lose a valuable bat off the bench.

“I talked to Inglett, he’s been getting a little bit better,” Macha said. “If we had a problem, [Inglett would] go out there and play.”

The other two members of his bench, outfielder Jody Gerut and catcher Jonathan Lucroy, were unavailable. Gerut for injury reasons and Lucroy in case of injury to starting catcher George Kottaras.

Gerut, like Inglett, has been limited since Saturday with a bruised right heel. Unlike Inglett, however, Gerut had not made enough progress to be available against the Astros.

“He’s still moving a little bit slow, it looks like,” Macha said of Gerut.

But Macha remains hesitant to move Gerut to the disabled list, in part due to Jim Edmonds’ recent progress.

“I tried to explain [Wednesday] that you [don’t] want to lose him for all those days,” Macha said. “Edmonds’ feeling was he probably could’ve been back by now, so now we’ve got to wait until a few more days.”

Worth noting

Brewers pitchers have not allowed a home run in the past seven games, their longest streak since August 11-18, 2000. The starting pitchers have not allowed a home run in 10 straight games, their longest streak since May 19-30, 1998. … Corey Hart leads the Majors in home runs since May 15 with six and is second in RBIs with 11. … Ryan Braun entered the day tied for the National League lead in hits with 59. … Casey McGehee ranks first or tied for first among third basemen in eight offensive categories, including batting average, hits and RBIs. … A win Thursday would give the Brewers their first series victory at home since taking two of three against Colorado to open the season.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.