Johnson told LaRoche that he was going to pinch-hit for Ross Detwiler with Jhonatan Solano in the 12th inning.
LaRoche was a pitcher when he was in high school and college. The last time LaRoche pitched was for Double-A Greenville, a Braves affiliate, in 2003. During his pro career, LaRoche has pitched in two games, and picked up a victory while with for Class A Myrtle Beach.
"The one good thing was, I [asked] LaRoche, 'If I have to use Solano to tie the game, can you pitch for me?' He said he would be happy to," Johnson said. "I said, 'You are not going to hurt your arm?' He said, 'No, I won't be throwing that hard anyway.'"
After talking to Johnson, LaRoche went in the batting cage to warm up, but Johnson changed his mind. Detwiler ended up hitting for himself to load the bases.
"[Johnson] said, 'I have to let Det continue.' I said, 'OK, I appreciate you letting me get all excited there,'" LaRoche said. "I understand both sides of it. Obviously, I'm there if he needs me. I would love to go do it. But, on the other hand, I think [Johnson] made the right decision, and he helped us get a win."
Had LaRoche pitched, there was no way he was going to air it out. After all, he had shoulder issues last year.
"But I could give [the team] some strikes," LaRoche said.