Statcast: Cain robs Pence of extra bases

Statcast: Cain robs Pence of extra bases

Lorenzo Cain has spent much of this postseason flying all over the outfield to take hits away from opposing batters. He added another clip to his October highlight reel on Sunday night, in Game 5 of the World Series, helping to keep the Royals close in an eventual 5-0 loss to the Giants.

San Francisco led 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, with runners on first and second and two out. Statcast tracking technology shows that the ball achieved an exit velocity of 100.4 mph off Hunter Pence's bat when he drilled a James Shields pitch to deep right-center field.

But what looked to be a two-run double or triple instead became an inning-ending out. Cain, playing right field before moving to center later in the game, took his first step in 0.37 seconds after contact, accelerating to a top speed of 20.6 mph in 3.5 seconds. Statcast measured his route at 94.7 percent efficient -- not perfect, but still good enough to allow him to cover 82 feet in the 4.33 seconds Pence's drive remained in the air.

Cain sprinted back and toward center field, crossing onto the warning track and he reached up and pulled the ball in as he narrowly avoided stumbling into the wall.

Statcast: Cain runs one down

More Statcast from Game 5

Perez's double breaks the game open
After hitting .170 with three RBIs for the Giants this season, Juan Perez certainly wasn't the most likely player to strike a big blow with his bat. But that's exactly what he did when he stepped in against shutdown Royals reliever Wade Davis, with San Francisco ahead, 2-0, in the bottom of the eighth inning.

With one out and runners at first and second, Perez slugged a 96-mph fastball off the top of the center-field wall. Statcast tracking technology shows Pence getting a secondary lead of 17 feet off first base, with Pablo Sandoval 13 feet off second, as both runners waited until it was clear the ball was sailing over the head of center fielder Cain.

At that point, they took off. Sandoval scored at a top speed of 17.6 mph, with Pence nearly catching up to him at 20.4 mph before sliding in ahead of shortstop Alcides Escobar's relay throw. Perez, who reached 18.3 mph, took third when the throw got past catcher Salvador Perez.

Statcast: Perez drives in two

Belt beats the shift
After Pence singled to lead off the bottom of the second, the Royals employed an infield shift against the left-handed-hitting Brandon Belt, moving third baseman Mike Moustakas from his usual spot to the right side of second base, a distance of 93 feet. But on the first pitch, Belt surprised the defense by dropping a bunt down to the left of the mound and past pitcher James Shields. That left Escobar -- the only defender stationed on that side of the infield -- to charge in 50 feet to field it. Though he scooped it up smoothly and fired a strike to first, Belt got down the line at a high speed of 19.5 mph and beat the throw for his first career bunt hit.

Statcast: Belt legs out bunt

Belt outruns Perez
Belt had to use his wheels again with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the fourth, when Salvador Perez rolled a grounder to the right side off Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Playing far off the first-base bag, Belt was in the best position to make the play, and with Bumgarner not breaking to cover immediately, it was up to him to do it on his own. Belt first ran 20 feet to his right to field the ball, then about another 40 back to his left to beat Perez to first. Moving at a top speed of 14.8 mph, he slid in ahead of the runner.

Statcast: Belt races to first

Statcast highlights from earlier in the postseason

World Series Game 4: Dyson shows off speed to make diving catch
Kansas City was ahead, 4-3, with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Juan Perez hit a shallow fly ball to center field off reliever Danny Duffy. The blooper easily could have landed for a hit, if not for a spectacular grab by Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson.

From contact, Dyson made his first step in 0.2 seconds, and it took him 2.84 seconds to accelerate to a top speed of 21.7 mph. That's just a touch below the 21.9 mph he reached running out a double-play grounder in Game 4, but it still allowed him to cover 69 feet of turf in the 3.35 seconds the ball was in the air. The grab prevented a potential go-ahead, two-RBI hit, but it didn't stop the Giants from tying the game. Pence, stationed at third base, tagged up and raced home at a high of 20.7 mph, as Sandoval and Belt made it back safely to second and first, respectively.

Statcast: Dyson's diving grab

World Series Game 3: Perez's scoop and throw beats Blanco's dive
With one out and the bases empty in the bottom of the eighth inning against Davis, Gregor Blanco dropped a bunt out in front of the plate that barely reached the infield grass. Salvador Perez, all 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds of him, sprang out from behind the dish and pounced on the ball before quickly unloading a strong throw to first. Blanco, who had four bunt hits this season, reached 21.2 mph on his way to first base, according to Statcast tracking technology. But he also negated some of his own momentum by launching into a headfirst dive toward the bag, and the throw beat him there.

Statcast: Perez retires Blanco

World Series Game 2: Pence slips, still beats Escobar's throw
With the score knotted, 2-2, the Giants had Buster Posey on first with one out when Pence hit the grounder off Yordano Ventura. Escobar had to range about 36 feet to his right to reach the ball near the outfield grass. Under normal circumstances, Escobar would have had no chance at throwing out Pence at first base, but Pence slipped coming out of the batter's box. With his momentum continuing toward the third-base line, Escobar tried a jump throw to first but couldn't get much on it. Pence, hustling at a maximum of 21.1 mph, was able to beat the throw with room to spare.

Statcast: Pence legs out single

World Series Game 1: Royals' slick relay throw
With runners on first and third and one out in the first inning, Sandoval smoked a James Shields breaking ball into Kauffman Stadium's right-field corner. Blanco scored easily from second. Buster Posey, stationed at first, took an initial nine-foot lead and extended it to 14 feet at contact. Traveling at a top speed of 18.4 mph, Posey got the wave toward home, but the risk didn't pay off, as Royals right fielder Nori Aoki deftly played the carom off the wall and zipped a throw to his cutoff man.

Statcast: Posey out at the plate

ALCS Games 1 and 2: Dyson gets caught ... twice
Counting the postseason, Dyson entered the ALCS 121-for-141 (85.8 percent) as a basestealer in his career, including 71-for-84 (84.5 percent) over the past two seasons. Yet he started the series 0-for-2 against Baltimore, marking only the second time he was been caught in consecutive games. In Game 1, Dyson took his first step in 0.27 seconds and accelerated to a top speed of 20.1 mph in 2.2 seconds. He slid in ahead of a 70.1-mph throw from catcher Nick Hundley, but second baseman Jonathan Schoop kept his tag on Dyson's left leg as it came off the bag, possibly applying the pressure that made Dyson's leg stray.

No such tactic was necessary in Game 2, with Andrew Miller. This time, Dyson reached a higher top speed (22.3 mph), but the pitch was high, giving Joseph a good opportunity to throw. Joseph, who threw out 40 percent of attempted basestealers during the regular season, made a perfect throw to shortstop Hardy, on the first-base side of the bag. Hardy put the tag down on Dyson's left shoulder just before he reached the base.

Statcast: O's slow down Dyson

ALCS Game 2: Cain sprints, lays out to rob Hardy
Cain tormented the Orioles defensively. Hardy led off the sixth inning with a drive that traveled about 350 feet into the right-center-field gap off Ventura. It looked like an extra-base hit off the bat, but Cain had other ideas. From his position in center, he took his first step toward the ball in less than a quarter of a second, accelerating to a maximum speed of 21.2 mph in 3.74 seconds. But to make the play, Cain needed more than pure speed. Statcast measured his route efficiency at 99.7 percent, meaning he traversed a nearly optimal path from his original location to the spot where he dove to snag Hardy's shot. That allowed his long strides to cover 82 feet of outfield in only 3.65 seconds.

Statcast: Cain's diving catch

ALCS Game 1: Hundley's crazy scoop
With the game tied at 5 in top of the ninth, Orioles reliever Zach Britton walked the first three batters he faced, but then got bailed out when Eric Hosmer hit a weak grounder to first base. Escobar, the runner on third, had a secondary lead of 13 feet, 9 inches, but got an understandably slow start, as he wanted to be conservative with no one out. (He ultimately reached a top speed of 20.3 mph, which is impressive.) First baseman Steve Pearce charged Hosmer's grounder and made a clean scoop, but his throw came in low, and it took an incredible scoop by catcher Hundley to record the out, with the ball beating Escobar by just .17 seconds.

Statcast: Pearce's quick release

Andrew Simon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.