Statcast tracks Escobar's speed, Cespedes' grab
KC shortstop flashes wheels in field, on bases as Royals win Game 2
Alcides Escobar was at it again on Wednesday, using his speed to help the Royals defeat the Mets for a second straight night.
The innovative player-tracking technology also followed a certain Mets outfielder as he turned in one of the best defensive plays of the night.
Here's an in-depth breakdown of each of those plays, courtesy of Statcast™.
Escobar flashes speed on defense, offense
One night after his historic inside-the-park home run, Escobar once again put his speed on full display in the eighth inning of Game 2.
It started on defense, when Escobar made the final out of the Mets' eighth by charging a Juan Lagares ground ball that was deflected, and thus slowed, by pitcher Johnny Cueto. Escobar benefited from taking his first step just 0.22 seconds after the ball left Lagares' bat, then reaching 17.4 mph as he charged the ball. He ultimately made the play just in time to retire Lagares, who reached a max speed of 19.7 mph down the line.
Escobar wasn't done yet, however, as he then legged out an RBI triple in the bottom half of that inning. He upped his max speed to 20 mph on that play, racing from home to third base in 11.785 seconds. For reference, Escobar also reached a max speed of 20 mph on his inside-the-park homer from Game 1, needing just 15.1 seconds to go all the way around the bases.
Cespedes makes leaping catch
Yoenis Cespedes, the same player who misplayed Escobar's fly ball into that inside-the-park home run in Game 1, made arguably the best defensive play of Game 2. It came in the sixth inning when Cespedes reached a max speed of 17.3 mph as he sprinted back to the left-field wall to make a leaping catch to rob Alex Rios of an extra-base hit.
Though Cespedes logged a mediocre first-step time of 0.39 seconds, he made up for it by registering a route efficiency of 94 percent. That allowed him to cover a total distance of 87 feet on his way to making the leaping catch as he crashed into the wall.