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Brewers Position Pitchers

When Joe Inglett took the mound for the Brewers on Tuesday night, it added some flair to the end of an otherwise deflating blowout.  Flipping a mixture of 52, 53, and 56 mph pitches to Cincinnati hitters, he recorded three outs on six pitches.  Shortly after he took the mound, Twitter started buzzing with news that Inglett was the first Brewers position player to take the mound since Trent Durrington in 2004.

Inglett and Durrington are not the only position players to take the mound in Brewers history.  In fact, there have been eight position players that have pitched for the Crew in seven separate games.  After the jump, you can find a run-down of these games in reverse chronological order.

  • July 27, 2010 - Joe Inglett

    As mentioned, Inglett took the mound in a blowout.  With the Reds up 12-4 in the top of the ninth, Inglett was called upon to finish the ballgame.  He came in, threw six soft tosses, and walked back to the dugout with a 0.00 career ERA.
  • April 17, 2004 - Trent Durrington

    With the Brewers trailing 10-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park, the Brewers called upon workhorse reliever Luis Vizcaino.  Thirty-eight pitches later, he had recorded two outs, allowing two home runs and four runs in the process.  After Orlando Palmeiro worked a ten-pitch walk, Vizcaino was replaced by third baseman Trent Durrington.  Pinch hitter Jose Vizcaino swung at Durrington's first offering and flew out to right field.  Unfortunately for Durrington, his notable moment was not shown live in Milwaukee; FSN North was late coming back from commercial.
  • June 20, 2001 - Mark Loretta

    Will Cunnane's first and only start for Milwaukee did not end well.  The righthander ran out of gas in the fourth inning, allowing six runs in the frame.  He was replaced by equally memorable Brandon Kolb who allowed five runs in the fifth inning.  With the Crew trailing 11-4 in the eighth inning, Mark Loretta pinch-hit for reliever Mike DeJean and stayed in the game to pitch.  He allowed Pokey Reese to single and walked Juan Castro, but strikeouts of opposing pitcher Chris Nichting and center fielder Ruben Rivera kept the Reds scoreless.
  • August 3, 1991 - Rick Dempsey

    Listing in reverse chronological order makes it a bit harder to note this, but in this game Rick Dempsey became the first and only Brewers position player to pitch in two games in the same season.  Pretty good work for a guy who only spent one season in a Brewers uniform.  Dempsey, better known for his rain delay entertainment than his pitching skills, entered the game in the top of the ninth with Milwaukee down 14-5.  After walking Gary Pettis, he induced three consecutive force outs at second base.  Another minor note: in the bottom of the inning Rangers DH Kevin Reimer moved to right field, meaning the Rangers forfeited the designated hitter for the rest of the game.  Reimer would do the same thing for the Brewers three times in 1992.
  • July 2, 1991 - Rick Dempsey

    For Dempsey to make a second pitching appearance in the same season, he quite obviously needed to make a first.  He took care of that during a 14-4 drubbing at the hands of the Boston Red Sox.  A first pitch double by Kevin Romine was followed by an eight-pitch at-bat by future Brewer Tom Brunansky culminating in a pop-up to short.  A groundout to short was followed by consecutive singles, making Dempsey the only Brewers position player to allow a run while pitching [edit: Sal Bando and Buck Martinez did as well, see below].  Another future Brewer, Jody Reed, flew out to right to end the inning.
  • May 15, 1989 - Terry Francona

    After the Oakland Athletics teed off on Don August, Mark Knudson, and Paul Mirabella for seven innings, Francona was called upon to pitch in the bottom of the eighth.  The score was 12-2 and Francona successfully kept the Brewers within ten runs.  He faced only three batters, inducing flyouts from Terry Steinbach and Tony Phillips before striking out Stan Javier.
  • August 29, 1979 - Sal Bando, Jim Gantner, Buck Martinez

    I listed these games in reverse chronological order simply to put this one last.  Jim Slaton just didn't have it on that night, allowing five runs before being pulled in the first inning.  When Reggie Cleveland didn't do much better and Paul Mitchell allowed four runs in the fourth without recording an out, the Royals were suddenly up 13-4.  With the pitchers incapable of pitching, manager George Bamberger turned to his fielders.  Third baseman Sal Bando took the mound and threw three innings, quite possibly a record for position players.  He allowed three runs in his three frames, but none after dealing with Mitchell's mess in the fourth.  After the game, he ascribed part of his success to his secret weapon: "I threw two wet ones [spitballs] because I couldn't get my breaking ball over."

    Jim Gantner took over from Bando in the seventh, allowing singles to Jamie Quirk and Al Cowens but no other damage.  His clean inning wasn't enough for Pennsylvania's Beaver County Times to learn his name (scroll up and to the right).  Catcher Buck Martinez followed Gantner to the mound in the eighth.  Martinez walked Willie Wilson before recording two force out at second.  Unfortunately, Hal McRae's subsequent double scored Jerry Terrell from first before Amos Otis popped out to end the inning.  One final thought: reading Milwaukee Journal sports editor Bill Dwyre's reaction to the game puts Tom Haudricourt's writing style in perspective.

Joe Inglett's brief foray into the world of major league pitching puts him on an interesting list of Brewers players.  While early pinch-hitting success earned him respect, it probably required a truly strange occurrence for him to make it into Brewers history even as a footnote.  Fortunately for him, the Reds obliged with an offensive outburst at just the right time.