CLEVELAND -- Just a day after he played the role of hero by making a terrific catch at the wall to rob Jason Kipnis of a homer, Astros outfielder Josh Reddick lamented a pair of balls he couldn't quite catch in the first inning that loomed large in Houston's 7-6
CLEVELAND -- Just a day after he played the role of hero by making a terrific catch at the wall to rob Jason Kipnis of a homer, Astros outfielder Josh Reddick lamented a pair of balls he couldn't quite catch in the first inning that loomed large in Houston's 7-6 loss to the Indians on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.
Reddick, starting his second consecutive game in center field with George Springer and Jake Marisnick both out with injuries, couldn't corral a ball off the bat of Michael Brantley as he hit the wall in left-center. It went for an RBI double. Two hitters later, Jose Ramirez drove a fly ball to left-center that Reddick briefly had in his glove before he hit the ground on a diving attempt. The ball came free, and Ramirez had an RBI double, scoring Brantley for a 3-0 Cleveland lead.
"They were tough," Reddick said. "Brantley got his pretty good, and I felt I should have caught both of them. I had the second one in my glove and just popped out on the landing. Very frustrating for me, especially knowing deep down I should have had 'em."
For Ramirez's double, Reddick had a catch probability of 26 percent (85 feet distance covered and an opportunity time of 4.6 seconds), meaning it would have been a four-star (and almost a five-star) catch, according to Statcast™.
On Brantley's double, Reddick had a catch probability of above 90 percent, though the presence of the massive wall in left-center field at Progressive Field made the play look a lot trickier than that number would suggest.
"You've got to get those breaks," Brantley said. "Those are important. If he catches both of those balls, maybe we lose that game, maybe we don't. It's always important to get breaks throughout the game. They're nice. Obviously, you get baserunners, you score some runs. He's a great outfielder -- a great defender. We got a couple breaks tonight, and we took advantage of them."
The Astros were shifting Brantley away, so Reddick had to make a long run. Still, he said the wall wasn't a factor.
"It's a matter of I needed one more step before I jumped, and I didn't have it," Reddick said. "I should have caught both of them. Just didn't work out, and unfortunately it didn't because that would have been a big difference for us in the game."
Astros starter Lance McCullers lauded Reddick's effort, and manager A.J. Hinch echoed the right-hander's praise.
"I love the effort, obviously, but to complete the play would be nice," Hinch said. "Those were pretty exceptional plays. You had the wall to deal with on one, and he had to come pretty far into the gap on the other. They were pretty tough plays."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.