What a wild ride we had last night in Houston. It all started in the bottom of the first inning when Mookie Betts was interfered with on what would've been the best defensive play of the MLB Postseason to that point. Fast forward to the bottom of the ninth and we actually got the best defensive play this Postseason from Andrew Benintendi putting the Red Sox within reach of the World Series with a 3-1 series lead over the Astros.
With Rick Porcello toeing the rubber in a Game 4 that might have meant more than the pivotal Game 3, due to the fact that Chris Sale will not be pitching tonight in Game 5, the Sox needed to get out to an early lead. They did just that when Mookie lead off the game with a HBP, a J.D. Martinez walk, a wild pitch by Charlie Morton who hadn't pitched in 15 days, and a big 2 out 2 RBI single by Rafael Devers. Once again it was Alex Cora pushing the right buttons and having the right third baseman on the field. Then, the bottom of the first inning happened. The Astros hottest hitter, Alex Bregman was moved up to the leadoff spot and wasn't able to get on the ball rolling. George Springer followed with a single to center and then all hell broke loose. Jose Altuve stepped to the plate and sent a high fly ball to right field, and for those who didn't watch the game, Joe West made the right call. Mookie leaped and went to rob the home run, but a couple of fans reached over the fence and closed his glove before he was able to complete the catch. Joe West made the fan interference call right when it happened and after replay the call was upheld.
As you can clearly tell in these pictures, Mookie Betts is not reaching into the stands. His body hasn't hit the wall yet so his arm and glove cannot be in the stands. If you look even closer, the man all the way to the right in photo 1 is leaning forward as you can tell by the hand on the wall and the lean. That would make him in the field of play if I'm not mistaken. So therefore, the man to his left in the orange who is clearly reaching even further than the man all the way to the right is definitely in the field of play. He's the one who made contact with Mookie's glove and took away his chance of making a spectacular play. The fact that Joe West could see this in real time and Astros fans still can't grasp the concept of fan interference is banana land. Take a seat Kate Upton, you're wrong and we don't need your crocodile tears.
After that the kids were able to play baseball again, and holy crap did we get a good game. The Astros made up some ground and eventually were able to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Tony Kemp, who is only playing due to a limp knee on Jose Altuve, hit a homer down the right field line. That was Porcello's last inning of work and it was a big let down leaving the game losing 4-3 after a couple of great outings this Postseason. These two teams kept playing pingpong with the score as there were 3 more lead changes after this point. None bigger than the last one, when Jackie Bradley Jr. (aka JBJesus) went deep for the second consecutive night. That gave the Sox a 6-5 lead that they would not give up. It also gives Jackie 9 RBIs in the ALCS, all of which have come with two outs in the inning. He is getting on one of his hot streaks so watch out baseballs, he is going to mash you. If he can go on one of his 10+ game hitting streaks where he is the best hitter in the league, the Sox can win the World Series.
Things were not all rainbows and butterflies after Jackie's moonshot however. Everybody in Red Sox Nation held their breath collectively as Cora ran out Craig Kimbrel from the bullpen in the 8th inning. I don't think anyone was confident when they saw that happen. Matt Barnes had only thrown five pitches and recorded one out. Barnes has been one of the best relievers in baseball since October has started, and the move was mind boggling. Keep him out there for the eighth and save Kimbrel for the ninth, but that isn't what Cora was thinking obviously. Once again however, Craig Kimbrel was giving Sox fans heart attacks. Tony Kemp lead off with a leadoff single but decided to make the bonehead play of trying to run on Mookie Betts.
Thanks to this ridiculous play by Kemp, Dirty Craig was able to give up just one run in the eighth inning to keep the Sox lead at two. Fast forward through the Sox top of the ninth where they were unable to score and the score stayed at 8-6. Kimbrel after getting the first out via pop out, proceeded to walk the bases loaded. With two outs notable trash talker and the MVP candidate for the Astros stepped to the plate. Kimbrel painted the high inside corner on Bregman who wasn't able to barrel the ball up, but he was able to muscle a sinking line drive into shallow left field. When it came off the bat it seemed like it was destined to fall in to either extend the inning or tie the game. But the best outfield in baseball happened again. Cue the Benintendi highlight.
Unreal catch, unreal hustle. Benny came flying in and called game. He misses that ball and the Red Sox lose the game and have a Game 5 with David Price pitching. Giving everything you have and risking it all is exactly why the Red Sox are one win away from the World Series. They sell out for each other on every play and it is the most beautiful thing.
Tonight we ride with David Price. Let's f***ing have it.