Statcast: Braun homer reaches second deck
Brewers right fielder lays out in second inning, launches 440-foot blast in third
NEW YORK -- Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun has been feeling better at the plate for a while. On Friday, he added some fancy glovework to his arsenal as well.
Braun homered twice, including a 440-foot, two-run shot to the second deck of Citi Field that came moments after he made one of the Brewers' best catches of the season. Braun's diving effort aided Kyle Lohse in the pitcher's best start of the season, and the Brewers opened a 10-game road trip with a 7-0 win over the Mets at Citi Field.
"For me, obviously, you want to do it on both sides of the ball," Braun said. "It was a good catch, and obviously this is a challenging place to hit homers, so to hit two at night is not an easy thing to do. But what stands out most is how Kyle threw the ball. He was great. Dominant."
Braun was good, too. His second-inning home run came off his bat at 108 mph, according to Statcast™, and gave the Brewers a 5-0 lead over Bartolo Colon and the Mets. In the eighth, Braun hit a solo home run off Carlos Torres that made it 7-0 and gave Braun his 22nd career multihomer game.
Braun leads the Brewers with eight home runs this season.
"I thought Brauny had a great homestand, I really did," said manager Craig Counsell, referring to a 10-game run against the Dodgers, Cubs and White Sox that saw Braun bat .296. "He saw the ball really well, he had a bunch of walks. It's always a sign to me when you see a bunch of walks that it's coming. He got some pitches tonight that he can do damage with, and he did it. And I think that's what you're going to see."
But Braun's second-inning catch was just as impressive. Braun sprinted back toward the warning track and laid out for a diving grab that robbed Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores of a likely extra-base hit and preserved a no-hit bid for Lohse that would extend into the fifth inning.
Statcast™ provided some perspective. The baseball came off Flores' bat at 97.2 mph and Braun did not get a perfect jump, with a reaction time of .505 seconds. His route efficiency of 92.4 suggests his path to the ball wasn't ideal.
However, Braun topped out at 19.6 mph, and that speed allowed him to make the catch. For context, Giants outfielder Angel Pagan -- who is known as a speedster -- topped out at 19.8 mph while robbing the Reds' Zack Cozart of extra bases in deep right-center field on Thursday night.
"I had actually just moved a couple steps closer to the line because he hit a couple balls foul down the line," Braun said. "With two strikes, Kyle throws a lot of sliders and pitches away, so I was kind of shading [Flores] toward the line. I knew off the bat I had probably a chance, but not a great chance. It worked out."
Braun caught the baseball in the tip of his glove, and held on as he made contact with the ground. Center fielder Carlos Gomez's reaction was just as exciting: A leap in the air, a few points in Braun's direction and a pump of the fist.
"I was pumped too," said Lohse. "I was doing the same thing as Gomey inside."