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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Andrew Benintendi made perfect adjustment before game-saving catch

Andrew Benintendi catch

The Houston Astros were just inches away from winning Game 4 of the ALCS on Wednesday night to even the series at 2-2, and they may have done just that had Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi been less prepared.

Benintendi made arguably the best play of the postseason when he dove to catch a sinking line drive with two outs in the 9th and the bases loaded. Had the ball gotten past him, the Red Sox would have lost.

As Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports learned after the game, Benintendi took 1 1/2 steps in at the start of Alex Bregman’s at-bat. Bregman hit a sinking liner into left on the first pitch he saw from Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, and Benintendi got a perfect jump and made the play. He said after the game that he cheated in “just enough.”

Benintendi explained that he was not thinking about putting himself in position to make a game-saving catch, but rather a throw. The 24-year-old said he wanted to have a chance to throw out Carlos Correa — the runner on second base at the time — at home on a hard-hit single to potentially preserve a one-run lead for Boston.

“I guess as outfielders we try to run through every scenario when it happens,” Benintendi said. “You know who the baserunners are. It’s second nature at this point. It’s instinctual. It just happens.”

Obviously, the result could not have been better. Benintendi put himself in a perfect position to save the game for the Red Sox on a night where they even got some help from the umpiring crew. Sometimes everything just seems to go your way.

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