ALCS: Red Sox Win All-Time Classic Game Four, 8-6
Boston, MA - For fans who watched the entirety of Wednesday night's ALCS Game Four between the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox, they likely just witnessed one of the greatest games in baseball history.
The pitching match-up at the outset, Charlie Morton for Houston and Rick Porcello for Boston, was quickly rendered moot as neither pitcher could gain control of their pitches and they were both replaced early in the game by the long men of their respective bullpens.
In their short stints, though, there was no shortage of drama. The game was another hot start for Boston as they went up 2-0 in the first inning thanks to a Rafael Devers bloop single that scored Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez.
In the bottom of the first, the Astros had a chance to tie the game on a Jose Altuve blast that was nearly a home run, but when Betts aimed to make a sensational grab to rob him of the 2-2 tie, an Astros fan reached over and closed his glove, prompting the umpire, Joe West, to rule Altuve out due to interference after a review. It was a controversial call, but based on the rule book, it was also the correct one.
Houston did manage to get a run back in the next inning when Carlos Correa drove in Josh Reddick, but a Xander Bogaerts double to score Andrew Benintendi brought Boston right back where they were. Off of a Reddick single and home runs from Tony Kemp and George Springer, though, Houston quickly took the lead away from Joe Kelly and the Red Sox by going up 4-3.
Boston answered right back with another Bogaerts-Benintendi combination that netted the game at 4-4 before Houston again took the lead back thanks to another clutch hit from Correa.
With Houston leading 5-4, Boston's new clutch hitter, Jackie Bradley, Jr., went deep again with two outs, scoring Christian Vazquez, and giving Boston the 6-5 lead. The Red Sox added some insurance runs thanks to a Brock Holt walk and a Martinez single, but it almost was not enough as Alex Cora called on Craig Kimbrel for a six-out save.
The performance was shaky to say the least and Houston was a few inches from walking off Boston, but Benintendi made a sensational catch to rob Alex Bregman of that clutch hit. Benintendi's catch quickly has been declared to be one of, if not the most important catch in Red Sox history.
It was a clutch, gutsy move by the left fielder, but it paid off as Boston is now up three games to one in the series with the chance to eliminate Houston tonight when David Price squares off against Justin Verlander at eight o'clock.