BALTIMORE -- Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar celebrated his American League Player of the Week Award in typical fashion, with another highlight-reel catch during a 4-3 win over the Orioles on Monday night.
Pillar has made impressive catches part of his regular routine and he was up to his old tricks in Baltimore, where the Blue Jays cut their magic number to two and also pulled a full game ahead of Kansas City for home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The latest example happened in the third inning, when Pillar went into the left-center field gap to take extra bases away from Gerardo Parra.
According to Statcast™, Pillar took his first step in 0.362 seconds upon impact. His top speed was 19.284 mph and he covered 80.556 feet at a route effiency of 97.391. In other words, Pillar would have been hard pressed to make the catch any more perfect than he did.
"I always feel like when the ball is hit in my area, I have a pretty good chance of catching it," Pillar said. "It kind of hung up there a little bit. Ben [Revere] and I have come close a couple of times colliding, so especially this late in the year, you want to make sure we're staying out of each other's way. You don't want anyone to get hurt. We're still learning each other, but I was pretty confident I was going to get that ball."
Parra appeared to have hit a double into the gap until Pillar had other plans. He tracked the sinking liner and then sprawled out to make a head-first grab while hanging onto the ball. It was the latest in what has become a countless number of impressive grabs this season for the Gold Glove Award candidate.
Pillar's catch came on the same day he was announced as the AL Player of the Week. Pillar hit .524 (11-for-21) with with five doubles, two home runs and six RBIs over six games to win the award for the first time.