The shredder can also slide pretty well.
Nick Punto has collected 73 hits this season, but a single he popped Monday night still seemed to surprise him a bit. After connecting with a pitch, Punto took off for first base and did what all players who are used to eking out infield hits have learned to do — he tried to beat the throw.
But Punto’s mad sprint for the bag ended in an unorthodox manner in more ways than one. First, Punto broke the cardinal rule of taking first and chose to slide into the bag headfirst rather than legging out his single. He did a masterful job, sliding over the bag with remarkable smoothness, Shamu-style. But even that wasn’t the strangest part of the play — it turns out Punto’s hit actually skittered through the infield rather easily, meaning he could have saved his hamstrings (and his face) and just trotted in.
Check out Punto’s messy slide — on a clean single up the middle — in the GIF below, courtesy of CBS Sports.