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08/10/05 4:10 AM ET

Wright steals show with circus catch

Second-year third baseman snares pop with bare hand

SAN DIEGO -- A question was asked in the pressbox here on Tuesday night at 9:15 p.m. PT after David Wright had made a circus catch in the Mets-Padres game: "Is it too late to be a Web Gem?" an East Coast reporter wondered. But the better question might have been: Can a catch be considered for "Web Gem" status if a glove's web isn't even involved?

Wright, the Mets' second-year third baseman, had made a brilliant, sprawling -- and barehanded -- catch in short left field in the seventh inning of the Padres' 8-3 victory to take a bloop hit away from Brian Giles.

Wright made the catch some 20 feet onto the outfield grass for the second out of the inning, prompting prolonged and loud applause from a sellout crowd at PETCO Park. Wright ran with his back to the plate, extended his right hand, leaped, made the catch and held on as he hit the ground, prompting another question: Can the ground cause a fumble in baseball?

"I told him, 'Go play defense without your glove,'" Doug Mientkiewicz said. "'You'll probably do a better job.'"

A dive into the stands in Seattle in June had earned Wright an ovation as well.

"This one was better," Wright said. "I didn't get bruises up and down my body.

"It was over my right shoulder. I couldn't reach it with my glove, so I took a stab at it."

The Mets enjoyed the catch, with one proviso.

"We could have really blown it up if we'd won," Floyd said. "Great catch. He'll probably get an ESPY for it. But you know what that does, it makes the guy who hit it play harder. He's ticked. You hit a ball like that, and you know you've got a knock out of it. Now, Giles is going to make sure D-Wright loses one, too."

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.