It’s no secret both Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts are fast, and one must look no further than the eighth inning of the Boston Red Sox’s 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday at Fenway Park for additional proof.
Hanley Ramirez drilled a fly ball over the head of Pirates center fielder Starling Marte with the bases loaded, one out and Boston trailing 3-1. Dustin Pedroia trotted home from third base, Benintendi raced around from second base with the game-tying run and Betts showed off his wheels while trying to score from first base, although he was tagged out on a bang-bang play at the plate.
Both Benintendi and Betts were asked about the play after the Red Sox’s win, which Xander Bogaerts helped secure by driving in Ramirez with a go-ahead RBI single two batters later. And Betts, who stole 26 bases last season, made it clear that Benintendi is “way faster” than him despite nearly chasing down the rookie on Ramirez’s game-tying knock.
“Benny is faster than I am,” Betts told reporters, per WEEI.com, before adding, “Heck, yeah. He is way faster than I am. I was a couple of steps behind him, so once he got going I’m not catching up to him.”
So, how does Betts know Benintendi is faster?
“I just know. Little things. Benny is fast. Really fast,” the 2016 American League MVP runner-up said. “I’ve lost a bunch of steps. I guess I’m getting old.”
Anyway, overlooking Betts’ comment about losing “a bunch of steps” — we all know the 24-year-old right fielder hasn’t — and getting to the heart of the issue, Benintendi thinks his teammate is on to something.
“We joke about who’s fastest all the time,” Benintendi said, according to WEEI.com. “I guess that kind of proves it.”
Guess so. But let’s just agree both are very fleet-footed.
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images