03/07/10 5:37 PM ET
Santos adds surprising feat to resume
Catcher's inside-the-park grand slam propels Mets
By Marty Noble / MLB.com
No matter its brevity, Santos' career has had its moments. He beat Jonathon Papelbon with a ninth-inning jolt last season, and his first big league home run and first big league RBIs were the result of a grand slam.
Now Santos can add this to his personal history -- an inside-the-park grand slam. Imagine that. He never did.
"I'm not fast enough to think I can get around all the bases," Santos said. "It's a first for me, I'm sure there won't be another."
Santos' slam happened in the second inning of the Mets' game against Nationals on Sunday. Starter Jason Marquis, after a quiet first inning, had walked the first three batters of the second. Alex Cora singled to produce one run and leave the bases loaded. Santos hit a ball down the left-field line that spent most of its roll in foul territory. Santos' 220 pounds reached third base with some huffing and puffing, but as the catcher downshifted, he heard third-base coach Chip Hale yell, "Go, go, go."
Left fielder Willy Taveras wasn't particularly quick to the ball, and when he finally did arrive, the ball had rolled under the gate in the corner. It wasn't stuck so much as it appeared to be stuck. But Taveras seemed more intent in persuading umpire Paul Nauert to call a ground-rule double than he was in retrieving the ball.
"I never saw where the ball was," Santos said. "I just saw everyone running. I didn't know if [Taveras] fell. But I ran when I heard [Hale]."
His run was the fifth of the inning. A double by David Wright scored Gary Matthews Jr. in the sixth, producing the decisive run in the Mets' 6-5 victory.
"That was good, a good thing," Santos said. "I liked it. But I think I like the ones that go over he fence more. They are easier."
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.