Here are three great catches from last season’s playoffs, Alex Gordon crashing into the wall and two long runs by Lorenzo Cain, with video and data from MLB.com:
Alex Gordon crashes into the left-field wall for an out in game four of the ALCS.
This wasn’t the final out of the American League Championship Series, but it sure felt like the final nail in the Orioles’ coffin. The Royals led 2-1 in the fifth inning of game four when J.J. Hardy lined a shot off Jason Vargas that seemed destined to be a double. But Alex Gordon raced back and grabbed the ball before smashing into the wall. Gordon had little time to react, but he clearly made the most of it.
Right fielder Lorenzo Cain runs down a ball headed into a gap during World Series game five.
In his penultimate inning with the Royals, James Shields got another look at the wonder that is Lorenzo Cain. The Royals trailed the Giants 2-0 in the fifth inning when Hunter Pence hit a gapper with two runners on and two outs. Cain tracked it down, saving a pair of runs from scoring and keeping the game close. We know now that the Royals never solved Madison Bumgarner in the World Series, but this catch kept hope alive.
Cain robs Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy with a diving grab during the sixth inning of ALCS game two.
For some, Mike Moustakas’ tumble into the fans is one of the signature catch of last year’s playoffs. But the biggest how’d-he-do-that grab was Cain’s catch in game two of the ALCS. The game was tied 4-4 in the sixth inning when Hardy sliced a shot into the right-center gap. It seemed to be a sure double that would have put Baltimore in position to take the lead. Instead it was the first out and the Royals won in the ninth inning.
Graphics by The Kansas City Star
Source: Catch data obtained from MLB.com’s Statcast