SAN FRANCISCO -- On Aug. 1, the day Hunter Pence arrived at AT&T Park to become a Giant, he announced, "I have to be honest, every now and then, I do things you don't see very often."
Monday night, Pence did something maybe nobody's ever seen in baseball history. With the bases loaded in the third inning and the score 2-0, he hit a ball not once, not twice, but three times on one mighty swing of a shattered bat.
More astounding yet, Pence squirreled the ball past dumbfounded St. Louis shortstop Pete Kozma into left-center field and broke open the Giants' eventual 9-0 romp in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.
Quite appropriately, three runs scored on the play, two as RBIs and a third on Jon Jay's misplay in center field. Suddenly, it was 5-0, and one of San Francisco's grandest sports celebrations was on.
How best to describe the hit? As might be expected, injured closer Brian Wilson had the best assessment.
"That had a lot of high powers involved in that one," Wilson said. "That's a two-stroke penalty in golf. But here it's worth three steaks (runs)."
Hunter's wacky hit was the talk of the Giants' wild clubhouse in the wake of the victory. Most everybody had made a point of watching it on replay. Few could believe it.
"That was a big hit, regardless of how many times he hit it," Sergio Romo said. "Three runs came out of that."
"It was pretty ridiculous," winning pitcher Matt Cain said.
And Pence's reaction to a blow that won't exactly inspire memories of Bobby Thomson?
"Interesting," he said. "I just swung really hard. It broke my bat and apparently it hit the ball three times. I can't explain what happened after that."
Pence jumped on the first pitch of his second at-bat against Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse. He said he wasn't looking for any particular pitch. He just wanted to attack the first thing he saw.
"See the ball, hit the ball," he said. "I just wanted to catch something out front. It was a sinker in, I got jammed on something in at 95. I'm just glad it got through."
"When Hunter came off the field, I told him, 'I've never seen a double up the middle before, let alone a three-run double,' " said Barry Zito.
Just a few days ago, Pence was calling himself "the goat" after a miserable Game 3 performance in St. Louis. He wound up hitting just .179 in the NLCS -- 5 for 28 with eight strikeouts. But his miraculous cue shot made up for a lot.
"He's unique in his style of hitting," said manager Bruce Bochy. "And that ball kind of sliced. I was glad for Hunter, too, because
"Hunter knows that we all believe in him in this clubhouse, whether he's getting his hits or not," pitcher Ryan Vogelsong said. "We knew he was going to come up with a big hit eventually. It's not what you would map out. I envisioned a double in the gap or a homer, but we'll take it."