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Saturday, May 12, 2012
Stanton screamer has Mets talking

By Adam Rubin

Giancarlo Stanton's scorching leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth against Frank Francisco had the Mets talking even a morning later.

The Mets were playing deep, no-doubles defense at the time. And yet the ball still got between relatively speedy outfielders Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andres Torres and made it to the wall.

Collins and his coaches discussed the play and decided they had never seen a ball get through like that on no-doubles defense. Ronny Cedeno and Scott Hairston brought it up as well unsolicited Saturday morning once the Mets-Marlins game highlights started playing on a clubhouse TV.

Cedeno told Hairston the screaming liner never got more than five feet or so off the ground, and that he essentially had no time to react. As for a ball being hit that hard, they both concluded they had never seen it as well.

"Nobody," Cedeno told Hairston.

"Nobody has ever done that," Hairston concurred. "... If that would have hit somebody, somebody would have died."

Collins similarly said Ozzie Guillen told him before Friday's game that Stanton crushes balls so hard, an infielder might be badly injured or worse someday.

Collins added that the "lightning quick" turf at Marlins Park allows balls to scoot quickly on the ground. The grounds crew is still learning how to take care of the field, trying to gauge how long to leave the retractable roof open in order to allow for the grass to grow without the extreme South Florida heat killing it.