One swing. Three hits. Three runs.This is Just the way the Giants drew it up. Right?
Hunter Pence had been struggling at the plate all postseason, batting .163 leading up to Game 7 against St. Louis. But with the bases loaded and no outs in the third inning, San Francisco's fiery dugout preacher chimed in with a broken-bat, bases-clearing double in which the wood somehow connected with the ball three times.
On first contact, it initially looked like Pence had triggered a double play. But Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma's first step to his right turned out to be wrong as the ball changed direction upon its subsequent contact with Pence's shattered bat. Kozma couldn't dive back to his left to keep the ball in the infield after its path was altered. Marco Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval easily scored as the ball trickled into the outfield. Buster Posey came home all the way from first when Jon Jay misplayed the ball, giving the Giants a 5-0 lead. The Cardiac Cardinals wouldn't have another comeback in them and the Giants would coast to a 9-0 win.
Unfortunately for Pence's batting average, it only counted as one hit.
"I didn't even feel that. You couldn't see that with your eye," Pence said after the game referring to the instant replay, via Yahoo's Big League Stew. "It broke my bat and I thought I had just stayed inside it. I guess fate just found a way."
St. Louis' Lance Berkman had a different explanation for the bizarre play.
"It hit the bat three times; it was actually an illegal hit, but there's no way that you can expect the umpire to see that," Berkman said, per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
According to Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, Berkman was referring to Rule 6.05 that states the batter is out when he hits a ball a second time in fair territory. But it the rule also states that if the bat breaks and part of it hits the ball in fair territory, which was the case for Pence, no interference is called and play continues.