Grandy's theft: Clutch catch tops Statcast
The Mets took away a potential home run and hit another Sunday night at Citi Field. That's just the kind of game it was for New York, whose 4-1 victory over the Cubs provided a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series.
Statcast™ dug into both of those momentous plays, as well as some excitement on the basepaths. Here is a look at what the sophisticated tracking system found.
The Grandy Man can (rob you)
The Mets led 3-0 with two outs in the top of the second when the Cubs' Chris Coghlan drove a fly ball deep to right field for what looked like a solo home run. But Curtis Granderson had other ideas.
The right fielder took his first step in 0.28 seconds, traveled 61 feet back to the wall in front of the Mets' bullpen, jumped and pulled the ball down. Statcast™ measured Granderson's route efficiency at 94.0 percent, and Coghlan couldn't believe it.
More theft from Granderson
After the Mets' leadoff man began the bottom of the third with a walk, he took off for second on strike three to David Wright, getting a 19-foot secondary lead and taking his first step in 0.33 seconds. Granderson reached 19.7 mph and slid into second safely as catcher Miguel Montero's throw bounced away from second baseman Starlin Castro.
Following an intentional walk to Daniel Murphy, Granderson tried his luck again, on Jake Arrieta's 1-0 pitch to Yoenis Cespedes. This time, Granderson got a 26-foot secondary lead, broke in 0.23 seconds and topped out at 20.9 mph. Montero did his best on a low pitch, making the exchange in 0.83 seconds, but his throw was just a bit late. Granderson had his first steal of third since the 2012 season.
Murphy strikes again
Nobody has been hotter at the plate than Murphy, who stepped in against Arrieta in the bottom of the first with a runner on second and the Mets already ahead, 1-0. Arrieta threw a 1-2 curveball that dropped below the strike zone, but Murphy went down and got it, hooking it just fair down the right-field line and over the wall, despite a relatively modest 90.7-mph exit velocity and 350-foot projected distance, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.
Of Murphy's 19 homers this season, including five in the playoffs, that was his lowest exit velocity and second-shortest projected distance, behind a 338-foot shot off the Cardinals' Michael Wacha on May 19.