As the end of the regular season draws near, every play matters for teams trying to force their way into the postseason picture. If you don't execute, and the club you're chasing does, the consequences could last into October.
That was the case for the Nationals and the Mets on Thursday night, as the Nats desperately try to catch up with the Mets in the National League East race. The Mets managed to get a runner home from first base in the seventh inning of their 6-4 win over the Reds. The Nationals couldn't do the same and went on to lose, 5-4, to the Orioles.
With a little help from Statcast™, we can see what went right for the Mets and what went wrong for the Nationals as New York pushed its division lead to 7 1/2 games. The night's other highlights include a moonshot by Evan Longoria, a triple by red-hot rookie Francisco Lindor and some speedy defensive work by the Marlins.
Here's an in-depth look at each play.
Granderson speeds home
With the Mets and Reds tied at 3 and Curtis Granderson on first base in the seventh inning, Daniel Murphy came to the plate against lefty Manny Parra. Murphy drilled a triple down the right-field line at 107.5 mph, and Granderson took off from first.
Granderson reached a top speed of 18.95 mph and made it home in 11.25 seconds, sliding home safely to beat Brandon Phillips' relay and give the Mets a 4-3 lead.
Rendon gets cut down
Meanwhile, with two on and the Nationals and Orioles also tied at 3 in the seventh, Yunel Escobar stepped up to the plate with one out against right-hander Mike Wright. Escobar sent a fly ball over center fielder Gerardo Parra's head, easily driving in one run.
But Parra made an 83.9 mph throw to Jonathan Schoop, who in turn threw an 88.6 mph strike to Matt Wieters at the plate. Wieters applied the tag to Anthony Rendon, whose trip from first to home took 12.1 seconds, to limit the scoring to just one run.
The out call at the plate was confirmed after an instant replay review.
After blasting a fourth-inning double projected to travel 401 feet off Red Sox left-hander Wade Miley, Longoria put one well over the Green Monster in the sixth inning.
The Rays slugger crushed his 20th home run of the season, a solo shot that came off his bat at 105.9 mph and landed 427.9 feet away, according to Statcast™.
Lindor lines a triple
With the Indians already ahead, 6-0, in the fourth inning, Lindor knocked a Brian Duensing pitch into the right-center-field gap and let his legs do the rest.
The ball came off Lindor's bat at 103.9 mph, according to Statcast™, and rolled all the way to the outfield wall. Lindor reached a top speed of 20.6 mph as he rounded the bases, reaching third in just 11.9 seconds.
Marlins show off their wheels
The Marlins put on a defensive clinic in Thursday's 1-0 win over the Phillies, highlighted by two plays in particular. With two outs in the sixth inning, Marcell Ozuna charged in on a soft liner by Andres Blanco and made a sliding grab.
According to Statcast™, Ozuna covered 70.5 feet on a hit with a 4.5-second hang time, and he did so while reaching a top speed of 18.9 mph and running a 96.4 percent efficient route to the ball.
Shortstop Miguel Rojas ended the game with an impressive snag of his own, venturing into shallow left field to make an over-the-shoulder catch for the final out. Rojas reached a top speed of 17.8 mph and wound up just in front of left fielder Christian Yelich as he made the game-ending grab.
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.