Video: Billy Hamilton makes the lowest-probability catch of 2018

Cincinnati Reds v Kansas City Royals
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Reds center fielder (and speed demon) Billy Hamilton showed off his superb defense on Sunday, sprinting along the warning track to make an inning-ending catch in the first frame of the club’s series finale against the Pirates. Even given Hamilton’s lengthy highlight reel of spectacular outfield catches, this was a rare moment: According to Statcast, there was a 2% probability of making the catch, which helped the 27-year-old outfielder tie the record for the lowest-probability catch of 2018.

If it looked like a terrific distance to run, it was: Hamilton covered 83 feet in just 4.3 seconds. (Per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, that’s good enough for a 30.6 feet-per-second pace.)

Despite Hamilton’s first-inning heroics, it didn’t take long for the Pirates to get on the board. Colin Moran led off the second inning with a home run that finally evaded the center fielder’s grasp, followed by another long solo shot from Gregory Polanco in the fifth. The Reds responded with an RBI groundout, single, double and home run, however, and currently lead the Bucs 6-2 in the sixth.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.