Catcher Butera takes mound for Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Not even the 94-mph fastball he used to strike out Marcell Ozuna to end the ninth could bring a smile to the face of backup catcher-turned-reliever Drew Butera after Wednesday night's 13-3 loss to the Marlins.
"It wasn't fun," said Butera, who also pitched a scoreless inning for the Twins in 2012 against the Brewers (striking out Carlos Gomez). "It wasn't fun, because we were down, we were losing, which is why I was in there."
Butera's father, Sal, also a Major League catcher, also made two scoreless one-inning appearances in his long career. Butera said his father texted him after he struck out as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth.
"He said I looked like a pitcher batting," Butera said.
But he retired Christian Yelich on a fly to center and Ed Lucas on a grounder to second before striking out Ozuna. "I blacked out [on the last fastball], I didn't know what happened," he said.
"I went up to [Butera] and told him, 'Thanks for making pitching look so easy,'" said starter Paul Maholm, who gave up 10 runs (five earned) on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Asked the last level he pitched before doing it for the Twins (in a game won by current teammate Zack Greinke), Butera said, "High school. But only when my dad wasn't around. He didn't want me to hurt my arm."