HOUSTON – What was lost in the air over the right wall at Minute Maid Park in the tangle of bare hands and glove leather in the air were two runs. What was legitimately earned and taken by Jose Altuve, which was denied as fan-interference reputation, which was repeatedly reviewed, what could have landed in Mookie Betts glove, the fans had not been there – there were two runs. Having won or saved two runs right there, in the bottom of the first inning of the American League Championship Series 4 game between the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, could have meant anything or nothing.
And about four hours later, when Red Sox left outfield fielder Andrew Benintendi, after the end of the game, a win-saving, hard-loading, full-diving catch with the loaded bases sat down for long, meandering, dramatic building, long set of one Baseball game ̵
"That was an interesting game," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, "to say the least."
This 8-6 Red Sox victory, in front of 43,277 bitter fans, had participants from both teams near the point of collapse when they repaired to their respective clubhouses. It gave Boston a three-game-to-one lead in the Best-of-Seven series, with a chance to send the AL pennants and a trip to the World Series on Thursday night in Game 5 – in which they left David The price for the hill on short break against Astros ace Justin Verlander. So much happens in the course of 4 hours 33 minutes – the second longest nine-inning game in postseason history – that it makes sense to reverse it from the end, starting with Benintendi's remarkable catch, which, if he misses it would have probably brought all three runs home and turned a win into a loss.
Or, with the shaky, swaying six-out rescue of Red Sox closer to Craig Kimbrel, who was almost rebuilt from Alex Bregman's base-loaded liner, one before completion, left – one that Benintendi had somehow caught. Or the hit Betts, the right-fielder of the Red Sox, once tried, in the eighth, to childhood friend Tony Kemp, the fast left fielder of the Astros, to stretch a single into a double – a critical and inexcusable mistake. 19659007] "We feel that we have the best field in the big leagues," said Cora.
Or the starter of Jackie Bradley Jr., who won the eighth and ninth RBI of the series for Boston's No He and cemented his reputation as a more likely – but unlikely – most valuable player in the series, should Carry on Red Sox.
Or the brave efforts of Boston's exhausted pitching team, now held together with tape and paws, chewing gum to assemble 27 outs against an Astros lineup that played with a growing sense of desperation. As the leadership swayed and then finally shifted to the side of the Red Sox, her slanderous bullpen managed to outsmart the more highly regarded across the field, culminating with Kimbrel, her embattled seamstress, and the last six frightening outs secured that Band and the chewing gum that's about to go out. Or, really, the efforts of every Red Sox player who saw the field on Wednesday night, in a building that was quickly becoming hostile in street games in the postseason, thanks to events at the bottom of the first, but in Boston quickly became hostile 4: 0 improved. It's unbelievable how they'll get through Game 5, but they did not seem to be so worried.
But the only place to start is right from the start, with the first inning and the long flyball to the right, which Altuve scored from Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, who had a run of two runs at that time.
In the front row of the right-hand tribune, there was a man in an orange polo and one in a dark blue T-shirt beyond a red State Farm advertising sign, and there was Betts down in the field. And suddenly her hands met with the ball at just above the yellow line marking a home run. 19659013] What happened next might have done all the following: In spite of the logic that challenged the purpose of the major league baseball replay review system, the result was weighted while providing the next four plus hours with an imaginary plus -Two went on to favor Astros and eventually provided the final edge for the Red Sox. Two Runs
What you saw in those few fateful seconds as the ball descended to the wall would depend on whether you were with the team in white, the crew in gray, or the single character in black fleeing in the direction of the landing site
"I saw a ball over the fence," said Carlos Correa, Astros Shortstop. "In my eyes, it's a home run."
"I'm 100 percent positive," Betts said, "I could remember that … I definitely felt someone shoot my glove off."
Which referee Joe West saw when he saw off his Position along the right field line, about halfway between the first base pocket and the fouling pole, thundered to that spot, was one or both of those fans who are gripping the pitch and Betts' ability to catch the ball, to disturb. Betts' glove closed without the ball splashing through all those hands and ending in the warning lane. West almost immediately showed his fist to indicate a fault with the fan.
When Betts "jumped up and tried to hook you," West told a pool reporter after the game, "a fan mingled with the pitch, which is why I called audience interference." When asked if he had the feeling That it was clear, West said, "Yes."
Then chaos. Altuve watched in disbelief. Players of both teams stood around and waited. The referees crowded together and then made their way to the video playback station. The crowd was worried. The platoon commander on the left field wall was ready to make his solemn course over the tracks. And when it became known that the call – an out – stood, the crowd broke out with indignant booing. George Springer, the Astros runner first, knocked his helmet down in disgust. The platoon leader threw it into neutral.
Rule 6.01 (e) in the Official Baseball Rules states, "No interference will be allowed if a fielder grabs a fence … catch a ball." He does so at his own risk the fans grabbed the wall to disturb Betts. On closer inspection, it seemed they had not. But without a definite camera angle on the wall, there was no irrefutable evidence to overthrow West's reputation – made in real-time from a distance – and so it was.
"The Replay official said I was right," West said.
Instead of a home run for Altuve, it was an out. Instead of a ball game, there were 2: 0, Boston. When Betts returned to his shelter at the end of the innings, he was hit by a series of high-fives as he celebrated the biggest catch he had never made. The two runs were not as important as the Astros led 4: 3 and then 5: 4 in the middle innings – before Bradley & # 39; s Homer put the Red Sox in the lead forever – but they did make a big difference tried and failed "It's convenient to think about it," said Astros manager AJ Hinch said of the last margin. "It would have been nice to tie the game there [in the first] but [at that point] there is still a lot of play left over No, I will not go there."
The Red Sox moved up with their pitching team a critical point in which the left ace Chris Sale, her designated Game 5 pitcher, was scratched and brought back to Game 6 becoming a stomach disorder. With Price queuing up for Game 5 in the short break, the Red Sox was desperate on Wednesday night.
But the Red Sox attitude could be summarized as follows: Win Game 4 and worry about Game 5 tomorrow. After Porcello put them in fifth place, they put together the next nine outs: three from Joe Kelly, five from Ryan Brasier, one from Matt Barnes.
When the door to the Red Sox Bullpen opened one last time, in the middle of the eighth, it was Kimbrel who entered. Six outs remained, two more than he had secured for the entire season, and the Red Sox protected what was at the moment a lead in three runs. Once the premier of his generation, he has not appeared recently. On Wednesday night he had nothing to drop the Astros, but he fired anyway.
The last, Bregman's laser to the left, Benintendi's brilliant catch, arrived at Kimbrel's 35th Pitch at 13 minutes past midnight Central Time. Kimbrel has allowed six shots, five walks and five earned runs over 5 ª sloppy innings in this postseason, but is somehow four for four while converting austerity opportunities.
"We trust our guy," said Cora. "I know it did not look pretty, but we have 27 outs."
These Red Sox won 108 games this season and won six more games in October. They are another World Series winner, and five more of them to consolidate their place as one of history's greatest teams. If they succeed, they will surely deserve every bit of glory that gets in their way.
But at least here they'll always wonder what would have happened if Altuve's drive had one more foot or West's hand, in the heat of the moment, had signaled Home Run instead of Out.