One at-bat in five days is a recipe for a batter to lose his timing.
That’s what Royals designated hitter Billy Butler faced when his name was penciled into the lineup Tuesday ahead of the Royals’ 10-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants in game six of the World Series.
Butler had just one at-bat during the three games in San Francisco, because the National League rules don’t include a designated hitter. That one at-bat ended in a three-pitch strikeout against Madison Bumgarner.
Add in two travel days, and Butler had not started since last Wednesday.
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“It’s one of those things where it could have been a tough transition,” Butler admitted after going one for four with a walk.
When Butler stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first, the Royals had runners on the corners and two outs. It was an early chance to deliver against Giants starter Jake Peavy.
“My first at-bat, I was just trying to get back into the flow of things and my timing was out,” Butler said. “But I got it back fast.”
An inning later, Butler put the the exclamation point on a seven-run outburst.
Following a two-run double by Eric Hosmer, Butler lined an 89-mph fastball from Yusmeiro Petit to center for an RBI double. It was the first run Petit had allowed after 12 scoreless innings of work in the postseason.
The seven-run inning removed any doubt about whether there would be a seventh game. There is no doubt that Butler, who is batting .364 in the World Series, will be in the lineup.
However, Butler doesn’t think Tuesday’s offensive showing will impact Wednesday’s World Series finale.
“Tomorrow is a completely different game,” Butler said. “The offense has a lot of confidence going into tomorrow. I don’t expect it to, in any way, have any type of outcome for tomorrow. ...
“I think it’ll be a completely clean slate.”
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