By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — There’s the old baseball cliche, where a player gets a big hit to lead off an inning immediately after making a tremendous defensive play to end the previous frame. How often do you see it?

The reality is that despite the saying, it doesn’t happen nearly as often as one might think.

Yet on Friday night in Game 1 of the ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros, Kiké Hernandez offered one of the best examples of the phenomenon that is possible.

The first half of his magnificent act came in the bottom of the second. Boston starting pitcher Chris Sale had gotten himself into quite a jam. With the Astros already leading 1-0, Sale allowed consecutive one-out singles to Yuli Gurriel and Chas McCormick. Sale then hit No.  9 hitter — barely — Martin Maldonado, bringing up Jose Altuve with the bases loaded and one out.

For the second out of the inning, Sale mystified Altuve, getting the Astros’ star second baseman to offer a halfhearted swing at a 1-2 slider for the strikeout — Sale’s first of the night.

After that, though, The Kiké Show began.

Michael Brantley, who entered the game with a .368 average in Houston’s first four playoff games, sent a sinking line drive into shallow center. If the ball fell in front of Hernandez, a run would have scored easily, and perhaps a second run, too. If the ball got past Hernandez, then all three runners surely would have come around to score, with Brantley himself having a chance for a rare inside-the-park grand slam.

Yet as every viewer was making those calculations, Hernandez was darting in toward the infield. The 30-year-old — who’s been having a dynamite postseason thus far — made a dive while coming in and juuuuust got his glove under the ball, safely securing the third out of the inning.

It was massive — and incredible.

Riding that momentum into the dugout, Hernandez was then tasked with leading off the top of the third inning. He got ahead in the count 2-1 before absolutely unloading on a curveball from Astros starter Framber Valdez.

To say Hernandez got all of it would be a terrible understatement. This ball was crushed.

Statcast had that shot at 448 feet, demolished with an exit velocity of 108.2 mph, with a 1.000 expected batting average. There was no ballpark in the world that was going to hold that one.

That catch kept the Astros’ lead at 1-0. The homer tied the game at 1-1.

Shortly thereafter — off a Xander Bogaerts walk, a Rafael Devers single, a J.D. Martinez grounder that went through the wickets of Altuve, and a Hunter Renfroe double down the third-base line — the Red Sox built a 3-1 lead in the top of the third inning.

(Hernandez stayed hot/lucky, when his bloop down the left-field line in the fourth inning fell for a double. That contact had a .100 expected batting average, but went down in the box score as a two-bagger. With that, Hernandez recorded his 13th hit of the playoffs, the most by any Red Sox player through the first six games of a postseason.)

There may be no exact metric to measure momentum, and some analysts will forever insist that it’s a myth. On Friday night, with the whole baseball world watching, Kiké Hernandez offered an alternative perspective.

How often do you see it? Not too often. That makes it all the more impressive.

Hernandez later hit another home run, cutting Houston’s lead to a single run in the ninth, but it was not enough, as the Astros won 5-4.