Red Sox star outfielder Mookie Betts is a five-tool player, as he truly can do it all. So much is said about his offensive prowess, but Betts’ speed allows him to rob opposing players of base hits, and his cannon for an arm makes others think twice about running on him.
The Astros know this, as they’ve watched plenty of film that shows what Betts is capable of. That’s why we have no idea what Astros utility man Tony Kemp was doing trying to stretch a single into a double in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game.
It happened when Craig Kimbrel came in to pitch, with the Sox enjoying a 8-5 lead at the time. Kemp led off the bottom of the eighth, and he sliced the first pitch he saw down the right-field line. Unfortunately for him, Betts ran the ball down and threw a laser beam to second base. Kemp was tagged out fairly easily, and, as a result, the potential for a huge rally was thwarted.
Kemp’s mental error cost the Astros big-time, as Houston had the top of its order coming up. Alex Bregman followed, and was hit by a pitch. George Springer then ripped a double. It’s fair to question what could’ve happened had Kemp been content with a single. Kimbrel has really been struggling during the postseason, and the Astros may have had him on the ropes. Instead, Betts’ stellar defensive play bailed him out.