Yasiel Puig is the maestro of the bat flip, according to legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. And it turns out he may also be the maestro of the bat snap, as evidenced by the unusual nature in which he broke his bat on Friday night.
During his seventh inning at-bat against Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Zach Duke, Puig attempted to check his swing on a pitch off the outside corner. In the process of stopping his swing, Puig's bat completely snapped off at the handle, leaving the knob in his left hand and nothing in his right.
Here's another look:
Upon closer inspection, Puig didn't even come close to making contact. The two sounds you hear are Puig's bat snapping and the ball popping the catcher's glove immediately after. And as the announcers point out, the only reason it was called a strike was because the barrel continued on through the strike zone. That's a swing, even when said barrel is no longer attached to the bat.
We actually saw something similar earlier this season when Marlon Byrd snapped his bat on a full swing and miss. We can confirm that Puig and Byrd are both very strong men, but that's still pretty amazing to see.
It's possible, and perhaps even likely, that in both cases the bat was cracked on a previous swing. That happens occasionally, but as we've noted before, hitters can usually sense when something's off and are diligent about checking the bat with a good bounce off the plate. If they can't feel a break, they might hear it.
In both cases, that obviously didn't happen, so they didn't notice, didn't care, or the strength in their wrists is something to be marveled at.
All of the above could also be an option.
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