Say, Joe Castiglione, ever fallen off a chair during a broadcast before?
“No, not until last night,’’ the 36-year veteran of the Red Sox radio booth said Thursday with a chuckle. “There’s a first time for everything in this business.”
Castiglione’s call of Andrew Benintendi’s bases-loaded, game-saving catch in the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ 8-6 victory over the Astros in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series became a fun sidelight to one of the more tense postseason games in recent memory.
It’s not every day a radio play-by-play broadcaster’s call goes viral. But it’s not every day that a radio play-by-play broadcaster falls out of his chair making the call — and still finishes the job — either.
As the Astros’ Alex Bregman hit a bases-loaded liner toward Benintendi, the Red Sox’ left fielder, Castiglione call sounded like this:
“Line drive, left field, Benintendi coming on, dives, and did he make the catch? He did! He got it!”
Then, there’s slight distortion in Castiglione’s microphone as he adds in a voice that sounds like it’s coming from some distance from the mic, “And the Red Sox win!”
As broadcast partner Tim Neveritt started to interject, Castiglione added, “I just went head over heels in my chair.”
Said Castiglione Thursday, “I started to backpedal in my chair to stand up, and the wheels moved — and I didn’t. Tim was there with the save. He actually caught me. I got right up.
“I’m not used to being part of a story, but I knew it was out there on MLB Network and ESPN pretty fast,’’ said Castiglione. “It was unusual to say the least, but I’m having fun with it. I guess it did fit in with the tension and the moments of that game.”
Castiglione made a quick recovery after the mishap, saying about Benintendi’s play in an almost admiring tone, “Wow, what a catch.”
Castiglione has been calling Red Sox games since 1983. He said Thursday that the Red Sox’ current outfield — Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts — is the best defensive Red Sox outfield he has ever seen.
“You’ve got three center fielders playing the way they cover ground,’’ he said. “They can all throw. And Andrew showed great confidence on that play. That ball was falling fast because it wasn’t hit all that hard, and he was fearless.
“Jackie Bradley makes the best catches I’ve ever seen,’’ said Castiglione. “But I think Andrew’s catch was the best catch I’ve ever seen to end a game. There was so much riding on it, because if he doesn’t get it, you’re either tied or you lose. It’s the best catch I’ve ever seen for what it meant.”
Castiglione joked that he will take precautions to make sure he doesn’t fall out of his seat again.
“I think I’m going to get a chair with a seatbelt,’’ he said. “Or better, stand.”