Pieces of Dukes' bat, along with a bouncing ball, reached Boston's Nick Green(notes) about the same moment in the bottom of the second inning; Green deflected the barrel with his right arm as the ball hopped through his legs for a single.
It was the best non-catch of the night.
But scary (VIDEO).
"It hit me in the forearm, but it was the barrel, so it was all right," Green said. "It happened so fast, you don't really have time to react. I did what I could do to get out of the way of the bat. That's all you can do. I didn't have time to get scared. [It's] just one of those things that happens and you try to get away as quick as we can."
As he chased down the ball in short left field, Green hurdled the giant shard of wood which, on its sharp broken end, stuck straight up in the grass.
"That's a little bit scary when you see it sticking in the ground like that," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona, whose team won 6-4. "I'm sure that's why the league is doing tests on bats, because someone is going to get hurt."
Francona is referring to the maple bat issue of a season ago when it seemed infielders were dodging exploding bats and their splinters every other game. Baseball reportedly put new regulations in place for manufacturers to follow for safety's sake. Players can use either maple — Dukes' bat of choice — or northern white ash. Maple usually seems to find itself part of conjecture.
Green, meanwhile, found himself an inch away from what could have been a major injury.
"They say they fixed it, but that obviously didn't fix it," Green said.
Many of the complaints last season were that the barrels were exploding and sending wooden shrapnel everywhere. Dukes' bat didn't explode, per se, instead staying mostly intact. That was of little comfort to Green as a maple harpoon came tumbling at him.
Dukes has a powerful swing, dawg. Scouts voted him best bat inertia in '08.
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Is a bat sticking up out of the ground good luck?
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