07/29/09 2:37 AM ET
Loretta offers relief help in Dodgers' loss
Infielder volunteers to pitch in eighth to save bullpen
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
Loretta saw setup man Ramon Troncoso warming up with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning after the Cardinals had built their lead over the Dodgers to 10-0.
"It's not a situation where you need [Troncoso] to come in and get hit and risk injury," said Loretta.
So Loretta volunteered to coach Larry Bowa that he could get the last out of the inning and, when relayed the offer, manager Joe Torre accepted.
"Once you get to that point, I heard Loretta volunteered and I jumped on it," Torre said. "There's no reason to bring anybody in at that point."
Loretta hit Matt Holliday on the foot with his first pitch, then retired Ryan Ludwick two pitches later on a high fly to left fielder Manny Ramirez. It was Loretta's first Major League pitching appearance since June 20, 2001, when he pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and a walk for Milwaukee against Cincinnati.
"It's been eight years," he said. "I was well rested."
Loretta had no warmups until he reached the mound and all three pitches were clocked at 78 mph on the MLB.com pitch tracker. Loretta said he pitched some relief in college, but "my velocity wouldn't make it in pro ball."
The last position player to pitch for the Dodgers was Robin Ventura on June 25, 2004, in a 13-0 loss to the Angels.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.