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Hunter Pence’s screwball the big blow for Giants

Oct 23, 2012, 12:29 AM EDT

Hunter Pence

With the bases loaded in the third inning Monday, baseball’s most awkward player delivered one of the awkward doubles you’ll ever see, breaking the game open as the Giants went on to rout the Cardinals.

Hunter Pence‘s broken-bat screwball caused shortstop Pete Kozma to initially break right, only to have the ball end up about three feet to his left.

Here it is, 40 seconds into the video:

The hit was just Pence’s fourth of the NLCS. It went as his first double since Sept. 9. Had Kozma held his ground when the ball left Pence’s bat, there’s a real chance it would have turned into a double play, potentially halting a five-run rally before it ever got started. Instead, it was game over.

  1. mscott4 - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    You didn’t think to mention that the bat made contact with the ball 3 separate times causing the awkward movement/rotation?

  2. cur68 - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Pence has a future in jai alai after that shot. He slung that thing. Funny part was Joe Buck rabbiting on about that shot maybe 20 times, each time calling it “two hits in one” or some such. When that man has a narrative he doesn’t let facts get the way of the story he wants to tell. Hey Joe: it was three hits. The ball made bat contact 3 separate times there.

    • buddaley - Oct 23, 2012 at 5:38 AM

      After seeing it again in slow motion, he and/or McCarver corrected himself and noted that it hit the bat 3 times. I am pretty sure that he repeated a few times after that it hit the bat 3 times.

      • cur68 - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        Yeah, after about the 20th replay or so. The man is dogged.

  3. yankeedudedandy - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Pence’s hit didn’t even matter. Red birds bat were too heavy to swing; fell asleep on defense too. Mark 1/2 “bash brother” should have shared some of his HGH stash.

    • Alex K - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      What exactly would the HGH do?

  4. randygnyc - Oct 23, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    After the game pence said that because the bat broke, he didn’t feel the bat hitting the ball 3 times. He looked like he didn’t know it was going to be alright, like when a player traps a ball in the outfielder but it’s ruled a catch. He looked like he was afraid people were going to think he cheated. It was lighthearted and charming.

  5. stex52 - Oct 23, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    Good for Hunter. The guy has had a difficult year. It wouldn’t bother me if he went on to find himself a home and have a few more years of success in the MLB. You almost have to like him; he is so darned earnest.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      Yep. I like Hunter Pence’s unorthodoxed game. I am also now a big fan of Angel Pagan.
      I also learned that Pablo plays baseball a hell of a lot better than I ever gave him credit for.
      Congratulations to the Giants. I hope they keep the W.S. trophy in the National League.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        Yeah, I was a fan of Pence’s unorthodox game…..then I watched him play everyday for a year now I think he sucks.

  6. unlost1 - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    potentially halting the five run rally would have made it 4-0

  7. ezthinking - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    Pretty clear that Kozma is not ready for the bigs. Lots of errors and questionable plays aside from this tricky one.

    • SOBEIT - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      That’s kinda harsh and hopefully Kozma does not let this sort of thing hurt his game. As a Giants fan, I looked at players like Kozma as the threat because they are rookies and sometimes play above the moment. Unfortunately for Kozma, it looked like the early errors in previous games stuck in his head and the stage was a little too big. But I still look at him as a really good player that the Cardinals should keep for years.

      Brandon Crawford, prized defensive glove prospect SS with ok bat, was called up and a lot of people did not give him a chance after multiple errors to start his year. He could not hit and made a ton of errors. People were saying we called him up for his glove and accepted the below average bat so that he could help protect the pitchers…so why all the errors. Bochy stuck with him all year and Crawford rewarded him with almost errorless 2nd half and a bat that kept improving all year and had a nack for clutch hitting.

      I see Kozma in the same mold. I hope Cardinal fans are not too harsh on him. He had a bad series…that should not define his career moving forward.

  8. Brian Donohue - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    In another game that currently features a Tiger, that would have been a one or two stroke penalty, I think. Everyone remember TC Chen at the US Open? Except his club didn’t break…

  9. hunterpenceseyes - Oct 23, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    That one was CRAZY!

  10. SOBEIT - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    If you didn’t believe in baseball gods before…triple hit knuckle curve so big that the defender went the wrong way. Never seen that in the infield but have seen many OFs go one direction only to see the ball knuckle in the other direction. Sometimes…baseball happens.

  11. dannythebisforbeast - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Watched him for the last year with the Phils. Every time up I said he swings like a mental patient. only a mental patient could pull that hit off. Congrats Hunter
    Guess don’t change nothing now

    *no offense to mental patients

  12. dannythebisforbeast - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    A mobile video would be nice

  13. leerosenthall - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Really, that had to be the Hunter Penciest of plays! The headline could have easily been

    Hunter Pence, screwball, the big blow for Giants

    Unfortunately, I think I’m now going to require replays with 5000 frames/second technology from now on. Hard to go back to the ol’ naked eye after that for two weeks. Really awesome stuff.

    It seemed like the Cardinals just finally ran out of gas a few days ago. Will be really interesting to see if the same fate awaits the Giants or if they can keep the adrenaline going for another week. They’ll need it to beat Verlander & Co. Should be a great series!

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