Statcast: Defense propels Mets to World Series
The Mets clinched a spot in the World Series on Wednesday behind another offensive power surge, as well as one key defensive inning.
Statcast™ not only tracked the back-to-back homers that gave the Mets to an early lead that gave way to an eventual 8-3 win over the Cubs, but the revolutionary technology also provides an in-depth look at New York's ability to escape a crucial jam in the fourth inning.
While the Mets finished off the Cubs in the National League Championship Series on Wednesday, the Blue Jays managed to keep their season alive with a 7-1 win over the Royals in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. Along with a stellar pitching performance, Toronto relied on two big hits in its season-saving victory.
Here's a closer look at each of those key events from Wednesday's postseason action, courtesy of Statcast™.
Defense helps Mets escape bases-loaded jam
The Mets managed to escape a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam in the fourth inning with minimal damage, thanks to some impressive defense behind starter Steven Matz. It began with third baseman David Wright leaping to snare a scorching 106.9-mph line drive off the bat of Starlin Castro for the first out.
Then, following a run-scoring groundout by Kyle Schwarber, Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores helped end the threat by tracking down a high fly ball off the bat of Javier Baez in foul territory down the left field line. Flores took his first step just 0.14 seconds after the ball left Baez's bat, then reached a max speed of 20.8 mph as he raced toward the left-field seats, sending the Cubs bullpen personnel scattering. He ultimately covered a total distance of 118 feet at a superb route efficiency of 97.2 percent while tracking down the towering fly ball, which reached a max height of 168 feet.
Hosmer makes sliding basket catch
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer turned in one of the more impressive catches of the postseason in Game 5, making an over-the-shoulder, sliding grab down the right-field line. The second-inning play began with Hosmer taking his first step just 0.35 seconds after the ball left Edwin Encarnacion's bat.
Hosmer then raced down the line, reaching a max speed of 18.1 mph, all while registering a route efficiency of 95.3 percent as he tracked the ball over his shoulder. That impressive combination led to Hosmer covering a total distance of 100 feet, marking the longest distance traveled on a catch by a first baseman that Statcast™ has tracked all season.
Duda, d'Arnaud hit back-to-back jacks
Just as they had in each of the first three NLCS games, the Mets raced out to an early lead in Game 4 en route to finishing off their sweep of the Cubs. Their latest fast start came courtesy of back-to-back, first-inning homers from Lucas Duda and Travis d'Arnaud. Duda struck first, turning around a 94-mph pitch from Jason Hammel at 107.2 mph and sending it a projected 420 feet for a three-run homer.
d'Arnaud then followed suit, teeing off on a 93-mph offering from Hammel just two pitches later. The homer jumped off d'Arnaud's bat at 104.4 mph and traveled a projected 400 feet to give the Mets an early 4-0 lead, one they would never relinquish.
Tulo clears the bases with gap shot
Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki delivered another timely hit in the sixth inning on Wednesday, clearing the bases with a three-run double. With the Jays clinging to a 2-0 lead, Tulowitzki roped a liner into the left-center field gap that jumped off his bat at 106.9 mph on its way to one-hopping up against the wall.
All three baserunners raced home on the play, highlighted by Encarnacion, who reached a max speed of 18.2 mph as he scored all the way from first without a throw, extending Toronto's lead to 5-0.
Colabello opens scoring with homer
Prior to Tulowitzki providing some crucial insurance runs, the Jays spent much of Game 5 clinging to a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Chris Colabello's second-inning homer.
Colabello jumped all over an 87-mph changeup from Edinson Volquez, turning it around at 107.7 mph, and sending it a projected 409 feet for his second home run this postseason. The 107.7-mph exit velocity was Colabello's second-hardest hit homer this season, behind only a 109-mph blast he hit against the A's on Aug. 12.