San Diego Padres catcher Christian Bethancourt made his first pitching appearance of the season today, when he came on in relief with his team trailing the Dodgers 7-1 in the fourth inning. Things went poorly.
Bethancourt, a catcher by trade whom the Padres are trying to use as a two-way player, was injured after throwing one pitch to Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, which went wild behind the plate. While outfielder Manuel Margot scrambled to get the ball, Dodgers left fielder Andrew Toles dashed home and slid into Bethancourt’s knee as the pitcher tried to cover the plate.
Bethancourt writhed in pain for a bit before returning to the mound, at which point he threw yet another wild pitch, allowing Justin Turner to score from third. Gonzalez walked on five pitches, then second baseman Logan Forsythe hit a long fly ball out that was caught at the wall to end the inning.
Bethancourt started off the next inning with a little more success, getting Yasmani Grandal to fly out to left. Then he gave up a double to Yasiel Puig, walked Clayton Kershaw, got Toles to pop out, and surrendered a three-run homer to Corey Seager. He then gave up a single to Turner before being mercifully removed from the game.
All told, Bethancourt threw 18 of his 31 pitches for strikes, uncorked two wild pitches, gave up three hits and a homer, and walked two guys. Maybe it’s just beginner’s bad luck.
Correction, 6:46 p.m. EDT: Bethancourt’s first career pitching appearance came last season, not this year. Manuel Margot is an outfielder, not a catcher.