Statcast: Pagan sprints, then steals Kemp HR
SAN FRANCISCO -- If there was any remaining doubt on the status of Angel Pagan's knees, those worries were put to rest Friday night in the Giants' 9-1 win over the Padres at AT&T Park.
The Giants center fielder, who looked hesitant in the field at times before landing on the disabled list exactly a month ago with right patella tendinitis, robbed the Padres' Matt Kemp of a home run in the seventh inning of Friday's game in spectacular fashion.
"I couldn't tell if he caught it or not," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Just a tremendous catch by Angel and at that point, it's a big play."
Off the bat, it looked as if Kemp had hit his 22nd home run of the season, but Pagan raced back toward the fence, scaled the wall and reached up to find the ball drop right into his glove.
According to Statcast™, Pagan covered a total distance of 91 feet, while recording a route efficiency of 95.4 percent in his sprint to the wall. He reached a max speed of 16.3 mph before briefly taking his eyes completely off the ball to locate the wall.
"Once I got to the warning track and I saw the ball still high in the air and still going back, I had to get the timing to climb the wall," Pagan said. "There are so many things you have to do to react on that play and it just happened very perfectly. I don't even believe I did it."
Starter Jake Peavy retired 16 consecutive batters before Kemp threatened to end the streak, but Pagan was there to rescue it.
The catch kept the Giants lead at 5-1 and the momentum on their side.
"I'm giving Angel some big love tonight, that's for sure," said Peavy, who also had trouble seeing his center fielder make the play. "When he threw it in, I was really happy."
Prior to his stint on the disabled list, Pagan dealt with a sore left knee in addition to the tendinitis that hindered his right. He looked like a shell of his former self while trying to track down fly balls in the outfield.
Pagan admitted after Friday's win he's still not quite at full strength, but said he's noticed a big difference in his mobility since he was activated on Sept. 1.
"I'm not 100 percent, but I feel good enough," Pagan said. "Before I was trying to grind it out and it wasn't working. Now I feel like I've got my legs back."
It certainly showed on his highlight-reel grab.
"I'm going to go out there and give it all for the team. No matter how I feel, I'm just going to go out there and play hard and see what happens."