Red Sox vs. Astros: Andrew Benintendi's sensational catch would've ended Game 4 one way or another

HOUSTON -- The Boston Red Sox won Game 4 of the American League Championship Series in thrilling fashion on Wednesday night, securing their victory over the Houston Astros via diving catch. Andrew Benintendi did the honors, rescuing Craig Kimbrel from a rocky appearance that saw him load the bases in the ninth inning, forcing a matchup with Alex Bregman.

Take a look at Benintendi's game-saving grab:

"Thought I got a good jump on it. It wasn't hit really hard. I thought I could catch it. I timed it up well," said Benintendi following Game 4. "I definitely knew it was do or die. I wouldn't have dove if I knew there was any chance it would've bounced. It was close."

You might wonder how often a similar batted ball goes for a hit. Statcast offers an approximation (based on variables that you probably don't care to read about at this point): 79 percent. This catch was the other 21 percent.

"I think if you need to think about a line (when to dive or when not to dive), it's already too late," Benintendi added. "I was committed to diving. I think regardless the game would've been over, even if I missed it."

Indeed, had the ball gotten past Benintendi, the game would've likely been over -- what with runners going on contact and the speedy Tony Kemp representing the winning run at first base. It was either going to be a game-saving catch or a heartbreaking walk-off triple. That's the risk. The reward was ending the game and going down as a hero. That's Benintendi's current reality. 

"I gave him a kiss after the game, right on the cheek," Brock Holt said following the game. "I said thank you."

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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