High hops, short wall: Reddick robs homer

In a spot where he's comfortable, outfielder's catch anything but

October 10th, 2020

Amid an American League Division Series in which balls flew into the seats at Dodger Stadium, Astros right fielder kept one in. His fourth-inning grab at the right-field fence denied a Matt Olson homer.

It saved a lone run during an 11-6 win in Game 4 against the A’s on Thursday, but it prevented a bigger amount of momentum before the Astros’ five-run rally in the bottom of the inning put them ahead for good and on their way to a fourth consecutive AL Championship Series, where they'll face the Rays.

Reddick is no stranger to the right-field dimensions at Dodger Stadium; he spent the stretch run of the 2016 season as a Dodger, then started for the Astros in right against Los Angeles during the '17 World Series. Still, Olson’s 355-foot drive to right took Reddick to a quirky area where the bullpen door ends and a shorter fence begins.

Reddick was up against the door when he reached to his left and snared the ball, which was headed over the short fence. He covered 62 feet to get there, according to Statcast.

Despite the height of the fence, Olson’s drive would’ve been a home run in 21 of 30 Major League parks.

“You know, I wasn’t really too sure about it,” said Greinke, who pitched for the Dodgers from 2013-15. “I didn’t see it go off his bat and I couldn’t get a good feel for what was happening, but it looked like Josh had a good route on it and looked like he was going after it pretty aggressively to where I really didn’t know what was going to happen. But he looked pretty comfortable going after it, so I felt like if he could catch it, he was going to catch it.”

A home run would’ve been Oakland’s 12th of the series, and it would’ve stretched its lead to 4-0. It also could have prompted activity in the Astros' bullpen. Houston needed innings from Greinke on Thursday, but it also badly wanted to avoid a potential winner-take-all Game 5.

Instead of a four-run deficit, Greinke pitched a clean fourth inning, setting up the Astros’ go-ahead rally. Reddick also contributed to the latter with a single; he went 1-for-3 with a walk before replaced him for defense in the eighth inning. Greinke eventually gave up another home run, but Ramón Laureano’s solo homer leading off the fifth inning merely cut Houston’s lead to 5-4.