It’s been one heck of a decade for the Boston Red Sox that featured four World Series championships.
Mixed in there also were some great offensive and defensive plays that Red Sox Nation never will forget — from David Ortiz’s 500th career home run to Jackie Bradley Jr. climbing outfield walls to save games.
But take the offensive plays out of it and let’s focus on the defense Boston boasted over the last decade. It’s probably hard to choose the top-10 plays, but MLB.com’s Ian Browne did just that.
And coming in at No. 1? Andrew Benintendi’s catch in left field to end Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros. Then-closer Craig Kimbrel got himself into a bases-loaded jam and Alex Bregman looked as if he may tie the game at 8-8. But Benintendi laid and caught the ball to end the game and put Boston up 3-1 in the series.
Of course, the Sox would go on to win the ALCS before defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium.
Here’s Browne’s explanation:
There are a couple of reasons we chose this play as the best one of the decade. The first is how impactful it was in Boston’s eventual World Series win. If the ball had dropped in and Houston had won the game, the ALCS would have been tied at 2, rather than the Sox taking a commanding 3-1 lead. The other reason is that Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione fell out of his chair describing the play. Castiglione has called Sox games on radio since 1983 and no other play or moment ever got him ratcheted up enough to take a tumble.
Hard to argue with any of that.
In case you forgot, here’s a look back at the epic catch.
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Thumbnail photo via John Glaser/USA TODAY Sports