Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain proved on Friday that baseball is like any other sport: defense can indeed win games. Offensive stats more than overshadow defensive statistics in most sports, including baseball. But in Kansas City’s 1-0 Friday win over the Detroit Tigers, in which Royal pitchers combined for a two-hitter, defense paved the way.
Cain made the highlight reel and rightfully so, with three outstanding catches. Being able to win a game when your own offense isn’t doing very well is indeed a bonus. The three catches that Cain made are the types of plays that perhaps other outfielders in Major League Baseball might come through and also make. But there’s no guarantee on any of them. All of the hits were well drilled by Detroit.
Cain leaped backward into the wall for Torii Hunter‘s hard-hit ball in the first inning. He raced through the warning track to snag Victor Martinez‘s drive, running into the wall in the fifth inning. He then went to the wall to steal Miguel Cabrera‘s home run bid in the seventh inning.
If just one of those catches aren’t made, then it’s a Tigers victory. In this case, the Royals, struggling on offense, were able to win by defense.
Cain could win more ballgames like that during the year for the Royals, but it still wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Royals to hit the ball better themselves. Cain is having an okay year at the plate. He’s hitting .259, but that’s below his career average of .272. Hopefully, in Cain’s case, great defense will eventually lead to good offense.