Statcast: Wright's homer sets the tone
The Mets used a combination of big hits and stellar defensive plays to key a 9-3 victory over the Royals in Game 3 of the the World Series on Friday night.
New York cut Kansas City's series lead to 2-1 behind an early home run from its captain and a trio of defensive gems. Statcast™ tracked each of those plays in the crucial victory, as well as a surprising dash down the first-base line from a certain Royals pitcher.
Here's a closer look at each of those plays, courtesy of Statcast™.
Wright sets the tone early
David Wright wasted no time igniting the Citi Field crowd, crushing a two-run homer in the first inning after the Mets had conceded a run in the top half of the frame. Wright jumped all over a 96.6-mph offering from Yordano Ventura, turning it around at 102.8 mph. The ball traveled a projected 386 feet into the seats in left-center to give New York an early one-run lead.
Granderson makes long, running catch
Gold Glove Award nominee Curtis Granderson made one of his best catches of the year, tracking down a long fly ball to close out the top of the fifth inning. The play began with Granderson taking his first step 0.37 seconds after the ball left Ben Zobrist's bat. Granderson reached a max speed of 18.8 mph while logging a superb route efficiency of 98.1 percent. His near-perfect route allowed him to cover a total distance of 88 feet before reeling in the ball on the warning track.
For reference, Granderson had only one other catch all year for which he covered at least 80 feet at a route efficiency of 98 percent or higher. That came on May 13, against the Cubs, with a catch that was nearly identical to the one he made on Friday night. On that play, Granderson covered 93 feet with a route efficiency of 98.8 percent to rob Anthony Rizzo of extra bases.
Flores dazzles in the field
The Mets escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning thanks to the first of two solid defensive plays by shortstop Wilmer Flores. With the bases full of Royals, two outs and the Mets leading by two, Alex Rios hit a chopper up the middle. Flores took his first step just 0.279 seconds after the ball left Rios' bat, then registered a route efficiency of 97.1 percent, allowing him to make the stop behind the second-base bag. He then fired a 71-mph throw across his body to get Rios, despite the Kansas City outfielder reaching a max speed of 20.8 mph as he raced down the line.
Flores made a similar play to kick off the ninth, though he added a spin move as he robbed Salvador Perez of a potential leadoff single. He again took a quick first step, needing only 0.27 seconds to react after the ball left Perez's bat. Flores then tracked the ball at a 96.2-percent route efficiency to make the stop deep in the hole. He then spun and rifled a 78.8-mph strike to retire Perez, who reached a max speed of 18.1 mph on the play.
Ventura flashes his speed -- on the basepaths?
It's no secret that Ventura can light up the radar gun with his fastball, but he showed that he also has some speed when it comes to running the bases. Ventura topped 20 mph -- reaching a max speed of 20.1 mph, to be exact -- as he sprinted down the line, nearly beating the throw on his sacrifice bunt in the third inning. Ventura wasn't tracked on the basepaths a single time this year, as he struck out in five of his six plate appearances and lined out to second base in the other.