CHICAGO -- The Rockies acquired catcher Andrew Butera just in time to add him to the postseason roster for times like Tuesday's seventh inning of Colorado's eventual 2-1, 13-inning victory over the Cubs in the National League Wild Card Game at Wrigley Field.:: NL Wild Card Game schedule and results
CHICAGO -- The Rockies acquired catcher Andrew Butera just in time to add him to the postseason roster for times like Tuesday's seventh inning of Colorado's eventual 2-1, 13-inning victory over the Cubs in the National League Wild Card Game at Wrigley Field.
:: NL Wild Card Game schedule and results ::
It wasn't the smoothest of innings, but Butera stayed cool and made it through.
With one on and two out and a 1-0 Rockies lead, Adam Ottavino sailed a pitch to the backstop to put a runner in scoring position. Ottavino admitted, "I just had so much adrenaline -- that's why I was yanking all those pitches at the beginning. ... I felt too strong, too hopped up."
Butera, 35, has played in 497 regular-season games, was a member of the 2015 World Series champion Royals and has handled important defensive innings since coming in an Aug. 31 trade with the Royals for lefty reliever Jerry Vasto. So he knew to calm Ottavino.
"I just decided to take things as slow as possible," Butera said. "I knew he would gather himself. I tried not to rush it, take my time in between signs and let him find his rhythm."
After Ottavino walked Willson Contreras, Butera's glove tapped the bat during a swing by pinch-hitter Thomas La Stella. So instead of making an inning-ending out, La Stella was awarded first base on catcher's interference.
Butera isn't the first catcher to experience such a fate. La Stella reached on a catcher's interference call last postseason, against the Nationals. He joins Josh Reddick and Jacoby Ellsbury as the only two players with two such calls in their postseason careers.
It was another chance for Butera to offer calm.
"The slider came back over the plate," he said. "I wanted to go get it. It was kind of down and I wanted to try to reach it and bring it back up. Unfortunately, my glove kind of ran into his bat path. Fortunately for us we were able to get out of the inning.
"I think he knew what he had to do. I told him, 'My bad,' and he picked me up."
Ottavino bailed himself, his team and Butera out in a powerful way -- by striking out Jason Heyward to end the frame. The 97 mph pitch was his hardest of 530 fastballs all season, and the only strike he managed on a fastball in the frame.
"I didn't even really try to throw it hard," Ottavino said. "I was just trying to make the pitch and then I saw that it was pretty fast."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.