His first at-bat against Dereck Rodriguez ended with a hit, which first bounced into foul territory, but then took a hard spin to the infield. DeJong recognized the trajectory of the ball and ran hard to first base to load the bases before Giants first baseman Brandon Belt could grab the ball.
“I’ve seen that, but not to that degree,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “That was unbelievable. You can’t do that on a pool table.”
The Cardinals' dugout went crazy, jumping up and down, clapping and encouraging DeJong after the hit. He even seemed a little stunned by it himself, and he shook his head as he looked up to the scoreboard to watch the replay.
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said he’s seen it before, too, on a play down the third-base line. But what Shildt was most impressed with was DeJong’s awareness to get to first base.
“I appreciated Paul’s attention to that play,” Shildt said. "... I’ve seen it down the third-base line, and the guy just gave up on it -- and a good player, guy that was always going to give effort. But Pauly was aware of it. Boom. Court awareness.”