A.J. Reed hit one of the strangest inside-the-park home runs you'll ever see
There was no question that this inside-the-park home run stayed inside the park. That, in fact, was the whole problem for the Mets.
In the second inning of a scoreless game Thursday between the Mets and Astros, Houston's designated hitter A.J. Reed smacked a Matt Harvey pitch all the way to Tradition Field's center-field wall. When the ball appeared to lodge in the space between the fence's padding and the ground, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes stopped pursuing it, believing it to be a ground-rule double. With Cespedes' arms raised, Reed even briefly stopped at second base, thinking that would be the end of the play.
But second-base umpire C.B. Bucknor disagreed, jogging out to survey the scene while Reed rounded third and headed for home.
"I told the guys that they witnessed history," Reed said. "That's probably never going to happen again."
As the Astros prospect busied himself on the base paths, Bucknor proved his point by dislodging the ball himself.
So what might have been a ground-rule double -- and otherwise should have been a regular double -- turned into one of the more bizarre home runs you may ever see.
"I could have done the same thing [as Bucknor]," Cespedes said through an interpreter. "He stuck his hand in there and pushed it out. I could have done that as well, I just didn't think that was what I needed to do."
Mets manager Terry Collins insisted afterward that he had no problem with the play, knowing most Major League stadiums have ground rules that define balls under the fence as ground-rule doubles. Not so in Spring Training, where teams rarely go over specific ground rules with their players.
"It was just a misunderstanding more than anything," Collins said. "In most ballparks when that happens … you throw your hands up because it's stuck. If it's stuck, it's stuck. That's his knowledge of playing the outfield in the big leagues."
Added Reed: "The umpire never made a call, so I just kept going."