In his team's 5-4 comeback win over Italy, Santana took his share of abuse. He was struck on the left arm by a couple of foul tips. As if that wasn't enough, he fouled a ball off his right leg.
"The last game was a bad game for me, but a good game for the team -- we won," Santana said half-jokingly on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Dominican Republic was off. Players showed up at the ballpark to work out.
Being a bit nicked up, the day of rest was good for Santana, who was back in the lineup Thursday night.
Dominican Republic manager Tony Pena is a former big league catcher. He understands the beatings that come with the position.
"Sometimes it comes to the point where you don't even feel like you're getting hit," Pena said. "You just have to take the hits and you know you're going to be strong for a moment and then it is going to go back. You know the pain is going to go away.
"The other day, he got hit. I know he didn't want to come out. Catcher is a tough position, and we don't need to babysit. We need to take it. We need to take the hit, and that's exactly what he did."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter