Deane: 2018 postseason post-mortem

From SABR member Bill Deane at WordPress on October 30, 2018:

Another baseball season is in the books. I’ll write about some post-season observations, but first it’s time to own up to my pre-season predictions, from my blog of March 20. Actually, they weren’t too bad. The A’s and Braves did much better than I (or most others) expected, the Orioles and Nationals did much worse, and my Dodgers fell short in the World Series. But I did pick three of the six division winners, with my other three picks finishing second, and most of the rest “in the ballpark.” And I wrote, to some criticism, “The Yankees’ dynamic duo of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, who combined for 111 homers last year, will have fewer than 80 this year.” They wound up with 65.

Boston left fielder Andrew Benitendi made a catch which has to rank among the very best defensive plays in post-season baseball history – not just for the play itself, but for the two-game swing it effected. It came on October 17, in the fourth game of the ALCS between the Red Sox and defending world champion Astros.

Boston led the Series, two games to one, and the game, 8-6, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. But Houston had the bases loaded with the dangerous Alex Bregman at bat. Bregman yanked a sinking liner down the left field line, and the runners were off. Benitendi ranged far to his right – obviously, with nobody to back him up – and made an all-out dive to catch the ball and end the game. It was a do-or-die play: had the ball gotten by him, the bases would have been cleared, the Astros would have won, and the Series would have been tied, 2-2. Instead, the Red Sox led 3-1, en route to winning the ALCS the next day.

Can anyone think of a comparable post-season play?

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Originally published: October 31, 2018. Last Updated: October 31, 2018.