Brock Holt told Boston Red Sox manger Alex Cora that Andrew Benintendi was going deep moments before his teammate delivered a game-winning home run.
The first two games in Houston did not go well for the Boston Red Sox. Going back to the Astros’ decisive victory in the ALDS last October, it seemed as if the reigning champs had their number. Until one swing from Andrew Benintendi shifted momentum back in their favor.
The seventh inning rally against Houston’s bullpen began with a two-out solo home run from Christian Vazquez, his first of the season. Jackie Bradley followed with a walk to turn the order back over to Benintendi.
The young left fielder fell behind in the count 1-2 after four straight cutters from right-hander Will Harris. Then Benintendi finally got the pitch he was looking for, a fastball up that he was able to hammer 417 feet into the second deck of the right field seats.
The two-run homer gave the Red Sox their first lead of the series and first victory at Minute Maid Park since June of last season. Boston had lost eight of their last ten against he Astros, including postseason.
The way things had been going against this Astros team, nobody could have predicted the tide was about to change. Ok, maybe one person. Brock Holt.
"“I just looked at AC and I said, ‘Hey, Benny’s going way back here.’ And he looked at me. He said, ‘Yeah?’ I said, ‘Yeah, second deck.’ And I don’t know why I said that. I just had a feeling. And he did it. So Benny made me look good,” Holt told reporters after the game, per WEEI’s Rob Bradford."
Who knew the Red Sox had Nostradamus on their team? Holt admitted that he make these types of predictions several times per game. This time he got lucky that it came true. Still, that’s a pretty impressive prediction in a big moment. It was only the second home run allowed by Harris this season so it’s not as if he’s prone to giving up the long ball. Holt even nailed the second deck part of the prediction.
Benintendi’s mammoth blast not only proved to be the game-winner, it also boosted the confidence of a team that has struggled against one of their greatest American League adversaries.
Instead of dropping three in a row and staring a potential series sweep in the face, the Red Sox have the opportunity to even the series Sunday night. They proved they could win in Houston, which they couldn’t do last postseason. They won a game started by Justin Verlander, who has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball this season. Houston’s ace wasn’t tagged with the loss but the Red Sox still managed to score two runs against Verlander. That’s more than he’s giving up in a game since April.
The Red Sox are the first team in the majors to reach 40 win this season. Their 40-19 record is their best through 59 games since 2002.
There’s still a long way to go on the schedule but it certainly seems that the Red Sox and Astros will both return to the postseason, potentially setting up a rematch on the October stage. If only Holt could look into his crystal ball to let us know for sure.