Yes, Sam Fuld pitched in Monday's game
Yes, it's September, when rosters are expanded, and yes, the Rays are very much contending for a playoff spot, but they still used OF Sam Fuld to pitch - and get the last Angels out - on Monday.
Fuld hit 86 mph four times and 87 once, getting J.B. Shuck to fly out to end the eighth.
He was the third position player in team history to pitch, following Wade Boggs (1999) and Josh Wilson (2007). Fuld warmed up during a 2011 game in Milwaukee, but Maddon was using him as a decoy and replaced him before he threw a pitch, leading MLB to revise its rules.
Fuld said he was caught a bit off-guard, figuring "there's no way" with expanded September rosters he'd actually get to pitch; Maddon didn't want Josh Lueke to go past 50 pitches and thought bringing in Fuld would "boost morale somehow.'
Fuld said he was perfectly calm warming up in the bullpen and pretty much a total mess when he got to the mound.
"It all happened so quickly,'' he said. "Once I got out on the mound I just realized there was a lot of stuff I had to figure out how to do - like putting my foot on the rubber, when to step off, whether to work out of the stretch,''
As much of a novelty as it was, Fuld - who figured he last pitched as a high school junior in 1999 - sounded like he had enough, laughing when someone pointed out he now had a better career ERA than Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax.
"And I'm going to sit on it, too,'' he said. "Hopefully it's the last time. ... I feel like my career is complete now.'