Butera with unique view of Beckett-Liriano matchup
LOS ANGELES -- Drew Butera, who caught Josh Beckett's no-hitter against the Phillies on Sunday in Philadelphia, was back behind the plate for Beckett's start against the Pirates at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.
Butera, a 30-year-old native of Evansville, Ind., was set to take his swings against Pittsburgh southpaw Francisco Liriano, who unleashed a no-hitter on May 3, 2011, for the Twins against the White Sox in Chicago -- with Butera, amazingly enough, behind the plate.
"I was just as excited for Josh as I was for Liriano," Butera said. "These things don't happen every day. They happen once in a lifetime, maybe."
Butera has appeared in a total of 213 Major League games, making the personal achievement of orchestrating no-hitters by different pitchers in different leagues all the more remarkable.
"I was a nervous wreck from the fourth inning on," Butera said of guiding Beckett through a 128-pitch effort. "He told me he had never gotten a no-hitter into the fourth, and I'm like, great, now I'm off my thinking pattern. But he said it every inning. You try not to think too far ahead. One hitter and one pitch at a time. It never gets old."
Butera watched Beckett's confidence rise as the game wore on.
"To his credit," Butera said, "I don't think he made any adjustments. He kept doing what he was doing in the first inning."
As for Liriano's gem in 2011, Butera recalled the lefty's superb changeup and poise as major factors.
"He was controlled mentally," Butera said. "In starts before, some emotions may have gotten the best of him, but he was just locked in and everything worked. He got a little help with guys chasing pitches, but I think that's because he attacked the zone so well."