Red Sox vs. Astros: Andrew Benintendi's sensational catch would've ended Game 4 one way or another
The ball Benintendi caught had a 79 percent chance of being a hit
HOUSTON -- The Boston Red Sox won Game 4 of the American League Championship Series 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."
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