Outfielder Fuld provides relief in Rays' loss
Maddon calls lefty's perfect one-third inning a morale booster
ANAHEIM -- In the midst of the Rays' 11-2 defeat to the Angels on Monday night, Sam Fuld joined the likes of Wade Boggs and Josh Wilson as the only position players in team history to pitch in a game.
Fuld entered the game with two outs in the eighth and runners on second and third to face J.B. Shuck.
"It happened so quickly, I felt relaxed in the bullpen and once I got out to the mound I kind of just realized that there was a lot of stuff that I had to figure out how to do," Fuld said. "Like put your foot on the rubber and when to step off the rubber and things like that, whether to work out of the stretch or not, stuff that I haven't thought about in like 14 years."
Fuld said he has not pitched since his junior year in high school in 1999.
"I was looking to boost morale somehow," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "... I told Sammy before the inning began to go down there and we'll see what happens. Once they set it up and here comes Shuck with two outs and I thought it was the right time to do it."
After falling behind 3-1, Fuld retired Shuck on a flyout to center field to end the inning and complete his immaculate line. Fuld's career ERA of 0.00 is better than that of legendary lefty Sandy Koufax. Fuld smiled when that fact was called to his attention.
"Yeah, and I'm going to sit on it, too," Fuld said.
Fuld threw five fastballs, topping out at 87 mph.
"We were guessing 88, 86 wasn't bad," Maddon said. "I think if you threw him out there a couple of more times you might get 88-89."
As for team morale ...
"I certainly thought it was a little bit fun," Ben Zobrist said. "Obviously that's not the situation you want to be in. Hopefully Sam's not sore or anything tomorrow."
Boggs pitched 1 1/3 innings against the Orioles at Tropicana Field on Aug. 10, 1999, allowing one run on three hits while striking out one.
Wilson pitched an inning against the Marlins in Miami on June 8, 2007, allowing no runs on one hit and a walk.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.