Mighty Tony Kemp.
Lovable Tony Kemp.
Much maligned and criticized Mighty Tony Kemp.
Although our very own Little Engine that Could had performed late inning heroics multiple times last year in his true rookie season, for many fans this year the only consideration that mattered was: “what have you done for me lately?” And the answer, frankly: not much.
Kemp came limping into the tenth inning of this game with a .143 batting average, and with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey in the minors just waiting to grab their spot in history from this insignificant bench-warmer, many were the fans who said of Kemp, “designate him.”
Today Kemp said; “hold my beer.”
In a game in which Indians pitchers seemed to keep Astros batters baffled most of the day, Tony Kemp, BA .143, was sent in to pinch hit for Max Stassi, BA .103. Kemp only had five hits all year, and although one of them was a home run, his ISO for the season was a paltry .086. Possessed of a keen eye at the plate, and good contact skills, suffice it to say that Tony Kemp was not sent in to pinch hit Kirk Gibson style in order to hit a home run.
.@tonykemp: "I'm not sure I was ready to walk it off. I was just looking for a way to get on base anyway I could...I'll take a home run." #Astros pic.twitter.com/AHH3LqpW2P— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) April 28, 2019
But that he did. He gave it everything he could. The only barreled ball all day, he sent it into right field 360 feet at 99.1 MPH.
Well that was fun! @tonykemp with his first ever walk-off HR!@astros get THE 4-3 WIN OVER THE @Indians pic.twitter.com/1aXssyTxdP— AT&T SportsNet SW (@ATTSportsNetSW) April 27, 2019
Kemp’s home run was only the fifth hit for the Astros all day. The first one was registered by Carlos Correa, who single in the second inning, and who then scored on an Aledmys Diaz double. The Astros would score two more in the sixth on a left field blast by Carlos Correa.
BOOM!@TeamCJCorrea gives the @astros a 3-1 lead over the @Indians— AT&T SportsNet SW (@ATTSportsNetSW) April 27, 2019
Come watch with us on @ATTSportsNetSW
Heading to the 7th inning now and then stay tuned for the postgame show to recap the game pic.twitter.com/eDXuG3h2tO
This homer left starter Brad Peacock in position to be the winning pitcher, who had an excellent game, allowing one run, on four hits, with seven strikeouts. But in the seventh the Indians would tie the game when they managed a couple of seeing-eye ground ball singles that sent Will Harris to the showers with one out. Ryan Pressly, although he extended his string of run-less appearances to 31, allowed both inherited runners to score, in large part due to a wild pitch which advanced the two runners. With runners on second and third, pinch hitter Francisco Lindor hit a sac fly, followed by a Mike Freeman RBI single, both runs charged to Harris.
Pressly would pitch a perfect eighth inning, followed by closer Roberto Osuna, who allowed just one hit in two scoreless innings. He handed a tied score to Tony Kemp to lead off the tenth inning. He was the last batter the Astros would need.
After the win, @tonykemp spoke with @JuliaMorales— AT&T SportsNet SW (@ATTSportsNetSW) April 27, 2019
#Astros are on the 4-letter network tomorrow night, we'll see you Monday at freezing cold (according to Julia) Minnesota to play the @Twins
Good luck tomorrow to the @HoustonRockets & @astros tomorrow!
⚾️ ⚾️ ⚾️ ⚾️ ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/WxRiihQsAN
Tomorrow the Astros hope to tie this four game series with the Indians, sendiing Wade Miley to the mound against Carlos Carrasco. It’s an ESPN Sunday night game. Starting time is 6:05 CDT.
Box score and videos HERE.