Gose combines distance and efficiency for unprecedented catch; Bradley Jr. also notches defensive gem
By Paul Casella
Tigers outfielder Anthony Gose not only made one of the most impressive catches of the year on Tuesday night, but he made it look relatively easy -- and Statcast™ is able to explain the reasoning for both.
Although Gose ventured more than 100 feet to track down Mitch Moreland's long fly ball, he did so at a near-perfect route to the ball. In fact, Gose's route efficiency paired with the distance he covered on the play produced a combination that had yet to be seen this year in the Majors.
Elsewhere, Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. also ranged more than 100 feet in making another impressive catch that put Statcast™ to the test for the second straight night. The Royals and White Sox, meanwhile, traded defensive gems in Chicago, while a Rangers outfielder locked down a win with a long running catch, and a certain Dodgers hitter crushed a rare no-doubter off a Giants ace in Los Angeles' division-clinching victory.
Here's a closer look at each of those plays, courtesy of Statcast™.
Gose makes unprecedented catch
In the Tigers' 7-6 loss to the Rangers, Gose became the first player this season to register a route efficiency greater than 99 percent on a catch that also involved covering more than 100 feet. Detroit's speedy center fielder logged a near-perfect route efficiency of 99.4 percent as he raced 101 feet to track down Moreland's towering fly ball. Gose took his first step 0.59 seconds after contact, then reached a max speed of 17.3 mph on his way to making the leaping catch into the center-field wall.
Bradley Jr. does it again
One night after making not one, but two highlight-reel grabs in left field, Red Sox outfielder Bradley Jr. turned in another defensive gem in Boston's 10-4 win over New York on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. Bradley's most recent snag came on a Chase Headley line drive into the corner. Bradley, who also robbed Headley of an extra-base hit with a Statcast-featured catch on Monday night, had actually started creeping toward the line prior to Headley even making contact, resulting in a first-step time of -0.26 seconds. He then reached a max speed of 19.5 mph to help him cover a whopping 100 feet on his way to making the running catch before crashing into the wall. All of that was made possible by the fact that Bradley took a superb path to the ball, logging a route efficiency of 97 percent on the play.
Cain robs a potential homer
Although Lorenzo Cain has reached the point where he makes even the most difficult catches look routine, there was nothing routine about his second-inning thievery in the Royals' 4-2 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday night. Cain covered 75 feet of the U.S. Cellular Field outfield as he strolled back to the wall before making a leaping grab to take a home run away from White Sox rookie Trayce Thompson. Statcast™ projected that the ball would have traveled 406 feet had Cain not interrupted its path by snagging it out of the air as he slammed into the wall just to the right of the 400-foot marker. Cain reached a max speed of 14.4 mph on the play, while registering a route efficiency of 95.1 percent.
Thompson takes away a hit of his own
After having his potential home run robbed by Cain earlier in the night, Thompson made a dazzling catch of his own to take away extra bases from Royals second baseman Ben Zobrist. Thompson reached a blistering max speed of 22.3 mph as he raced into the left-center-field gap before diving to make the run-saving, inning-ending catch. He took his first step just 0.49 seconds after contact, then tracked the ball with a route efficiency of 93.6 percent before laying out to complete the highlight-reel snag.
Stubbs secures Rangers victory in style
With the potential tying run at third base and two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Rangers outfielder Drew Stubbs kicked it into an extra gear to track down a potential game-saving catch. Stubbs reached a max speed of 19.3 mph as he sprinted into the right-center-field gap to make a running catch on an Ian Kinsler line drive. He took his first step just 0.34 seconds after the ball left Kinsler's bat and ultimately covered 72 feet, all while turning in an impressive route efficiency 96.7 percent to seal the crucial victory for the Rangers.
Hernandez tees off on Bumgarnger
Although the Dodgers accomplished the rare feat of hitting three home runs off Madison Bumgarner in their 8-0 NL West-clinching victory on Tuesday night, one clearly stood out above the rest. That mammoth blast came courtesy of utility man Enrique Hernandez, who launched a projected 448-foot homer off of the Giants' ace. The third-inning blast, which jumped off the bat at 108.1 mph, surpassed Hernandez's previous season-long home run of 436 feet, which came on Aug. 15 against Reds left-hander David Holmberg.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.