Mookie Betts keeps Red Sox hopes alive with home run-saving catch

Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts goes to the wall to catch a fly ball by Houston AstrosJosh Reddick during Game 3 of the ALDS. (AP)

Before Boston Red Sox fans could settle into their seats for Game 3 of the American League Division Series, the Houston Astros had already jumped out to a three-run lead. It was a continuation of the domination in Houston, which put the Red Sox on the brink of elimination the instant they set foot on their home field.

A scanning of the crowd by Fox Sports 1’s cameras told the story. Even in the first inning, the sad and stunned looks on the faces of Red Sox fans spoke to their desperation and despair. The Red Sox needed something, anything to go their way, to give themselves and their fans hope that a comeback was possible.

That moment came in the second inning. With starter Doug Fister out of the game and the Astros threatening again with two runners on base, Mookie Betts raced back to the right field wall at Fenway Park, reached up and took away a would-be three-run homer from Josh Reddick.


We’re not here to tell you it was the flashiest or most spectacular home run robbery. It was far from either. But it was of vital importance to Boston. From that moment on, they dominated the game, scoring ten unanswered runs to 10-3. That means the series will continue with Game 4 on Monday afternoon

If Betts doesn’t chase that ball down, it’s 6-0 Houston and probably game over at that moment. It if clanks off his glove, it’s at least two runs and extra bases for Reddick. Either way, the Red Sox already faint hopes would have been reduced to almost nothing. Instead, it was inning over.

For one day anyway, it was the jolt Boston needed after they were dominated in Houston and John Farrell’s decision to start Doug Fister backfired. If Boston can somehow rally to win this series, Betts’ catch will the moment it turned.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!