Spider-Man, indeed! Reddick catch saves game

Astros outfielder also delivers go-ahead single in victory

May 10th, 2019

HOUSTON -- There’s a reason Astros outfielder is called Spider-Man.

Reddick made one of the most clutch catches of the MLB season during the Astros’ 4-2 win on Thursday night by climbing the right-field wall and robbing Hunter Pence of what would have been a go-ahead three-run home run in the ninth inning.

The catch stunned the Rangers, thrilled the crowd at Minute Maid Park and lifted the Astros to their fifth win in their last six games.

“I knew it hit my glove and I know I didn’t get it in the webbing; I got it towards the top,” said Reddick, a former Gold Glove Award winner. “I made sure I did the little quick grab and bring it back down before it flopped out of there. I just reached in my glove, and it was there. Definitely a surprise, but at the same time, I had a good feeling I could make it.”

Reddick started the game in left field and had just moved to right field -- his typical position in Houston’s outfield alignment -- after Michael Brantley drew a pinch-hit bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning and remained in the game in left field. Reddick's catch, which came with runners on first and third base, helped preserve closer Roberto Osuna’s streak of 24 successful save opportunities.

“When he made the catch, I couldn’t believe it,” said Osuna, who proceeded to strike out Joey Gallo to end the game. “I was just like, ‘Throw to third! Throw to third!’ That’s something that’s hard to explain. That was an unbelievable catch.”

Reddick was able to reach over the wall unimpeded by the arms and gloves of fans in the right-field seats after the heavy thunderstorms that hit downtown Houston caused rain to fall inside the retractable-roof ballpark, forcing the first three rows of the seats to be evacuated. Catches at the wall at Minute Maid Park can be an adventure because of fan interaction.

“Off the bat, it was almost eerily similar to the first homer [Pence] hit, just not quite as far down the line,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “It wasn’t a good feeling. Off the bat, it popped a little bit. He’s a strong guy and Reddick was tracking it. You just don’t know if it’s going to come down in time. He jumps up, Spider-Man style, and comes back with it. The range of emotion is pretty much everything from ‘Oh [no]’ to ‘incredible catch.’ That’s the bottom line.”

After Osuna began the ninth inning by walking Shin-Soo Choo -- the first walk he issued this season -- the Astros’ outfield alignment was pushed deeper to try to avoid giving up a double.

“Obviously with Hunter, he went there early in the game, a little bit farther to right-center, so he’s got the power to go that way,” Reddick said. “George [Springer] and I were playing a little deep, and fortunately it wasn’t hit high enough. I was able to jump up just high enough over the wall to be able to get there.”

Pence, the former Astros star who patrolled right field at Minute Maid Park for 4 1/2 seasons, homered down the right-field line in the fourth inning. In the ninth, he roped a first-pitch 97-mph fastball from Osuna and sent it 347 feet to right field, where Reddick awaited.

“I felt like I took a good swing, and he made a good play,” Pence said. “That’s baseball. I’m not trying to control where it goes. I’m just trying to control my at-bat. You’re going to hit balls hard and get out, and you’re going to hit balls soft and get hits. Your result, you it take neutrally, good or bad, and learn from it.”

Astros lefty Wade Miley held the Rangers to two runs on two hits and two walks over six innings while striking out seven, including the 1,000th K of his career. Pence’s fourth-inning homer answered a solo shot from Springer in the third inning to put Texas ahead, 2-1, but Miley settled in and retired six of the final seven batters he faced. Reddick’s RBI single in the sixth broke a 2-2 tie, but that was just the beginning for him.

“There’s a different hero every day, every night. Reddick was today,” Osuna said. “Probably the catch of the year, absolutely. Thanks to him, we won the game today.”