LOS ANGELES -- Drew Butera found himself in a position nobody really wants to be in, if only for the circumstances. With his team down 10 runs, needing to relieve the bullpen of another inning, the Dodgers backup catcher pitched the top of the ninth inning against the Marlins.
Before the inning, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke were laughing with Butera and catcher A.J. Ellis in the dugout.
"I was telling A.J. what [pitches] I had, which wasn't very much. They just laughed. For me, it helped to ease my nerves," Butera said. "But wasn't fun, because we were losing."
But Butera made the most of it, getting Christian Yelich to line out to center field then getting Ed Lucas to ground out to second base. Then came Marcell Ozuna with two outs.
Butera's first pitch was a 90-mph fastball that Ozuna missed for strike one. Then came a 74-mph changeup for another swinging strike. Butera followed with a 94-mph heater to blow Ozuna away and end the inning.
"I blacked out, I don't know what happened," Butera joked about his last pitch. "I was trying to not to get hurt and throw strikes. My last hitter was Ozuna and I had an 0-2 count so I figured why not let one go?"
Butera is only the third Los Angeles Dodger position player to strike anyone out while pitching, joining Jeff Hamilton and Skip Schumaker.
"He was pretty good, a little add and subtract," manager Don Mattingly said. "Then he pulled 94 out of the bag."
Butera didn't take credit for his successful inning.
"It's just the fact that they have no idea what I'm throwing out there. It's almost like taking BP, you're so comfortable out there, next thing you know you're out."
After the game with a throng of reporters surrounding Butera's locker, the first question came from Ellis.
"Why did you shake me off?" Ellis asked jokingly.
Ellis wasn't the only one to give Butera a hard time. Butera struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, before he took the mound, and he got a text from his father Sal, himself a nine-year major league veteran catcher with five different teams in the 1980s.
"He texted me and said I looked like a pitcher hitting in my last at-bat," Butera said. "Thanks dad."
The Dodgers have Thursday off, then head to Phoenix for a three-game weekend series against the Diamondbacks. Greinke starts the opener on Friday night for the Dodgers, against Wade Miley for Arizona.