Drew Butera pitched against the Astros, struck out Marwin Gonzalez, then hit a double of his own
Drew Butera is out here to prove the haters wrong. Batters can't pitch? Pitchers can't hit? Wrong on both accounts.
The catcher by trade took the mound for the Royals in the ninth inning on Saturday as they trailed the Astros, 12-5. He gave up one run on Jason Castro's double (the last of the game, as the 'Stros won, 13-5), but then set down the next three batters. His appearance included a strikeout of Marwin Gonzalez that said, emphatically, "I've done this before":
Yes, Butera had pitched 2 2/3 innings in two previous appearances heading into Saturday, boasting more career strikeouts (three) than runs allowed (two). Not bad for someone who said after the game that his pitching motto is "Don't get hurt, don't hurt somebody else." And as for his strikeout stuff?
"Four-seam and let it ride," he told MLB.com's Scott Chasen. "I have a hard time making the ball move, so if it said a different pitch, I'll take it, but no, I didn't throw anything else."
So, he has no problem dishing it on the mound. But as he came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, he seemed to remember that he's spent the vast majority of his career as a batter, and promptly knocked a double to left field.
The results are clear: Butera can be anything you need him to be, and he will succeed. Of course, Butera is more modest with his words.
"There's no value to me pitching, that's for sure," he said. "I guess it's something just to smile about. The circumstances are never good, the reason why I'm in there pitching."
His manager, Ned Yost, was slightly kinder: "When he got up there I just told him, 'Don't get stupid, just get through it.' He did a good job."
Indeed he did, Ned.