This was Corey Dickerson, Monday afternoon, shortly before the Pirates and Cubs took to PNC Park's impeccably manicured field for batting practice, explaining to me that he's now gotten four hits off pitches that bounced.
Yes, in the majors.
And yes, three of them were doubles, including this one six days ago in Houston off the Astros' Chris Devenski:
Seriously, what is that?
What would compel any hitter at the highest level of the sport to stray so far from logic as to even contemplate a swipe like that?
Upon the team's return home from that six-game trip, I had to ask:
"Yeah," he began, immediately with an accompanying grin. "I've always said that I have unique hand-eye. Anybody on this team who's watched me daily in the cage can tell you, I can do a lot of things that aren't normally seen in a game."
OK, but why in the game?
Still seems awfully ill-advised.
"Well, I can tell you I don't intentionally go to swing at pitches off the ground. But I feel like, sometimes, when I'm able to just stay through the ball, my hand and eye just takes over and kind of gets me out of the situation. Especially when I've got two strikes, that just kind of takes over. I've got to put the ball in play."
Insane. Not sure I can recall anyone from the Pirates coming with this innate ability since ... wow, Manny Sanguillen? Maybe Freddy Sanchez once or twice?
Unlike my memory, though, Dickerson's is beyond reproach. After discussing the above, he proceeded to share with me the names of each of the four pitchers off whom he got one of these hits. The opposing team. The venue. The whole deal.
"That's something my wife gets on me about," he said. "I'll forget all kinds of things I need to do in my life, but I have a special place in my brain for stuff like that."
Dickerson's starting and batting fifth tonight.
It was generally a quiet pregame, with no news, no moves, nothing noteworthy about the lineup. Kevin Newman is getting the night off after his 19-game hitting streak ended, with Jung Ho Kang taking his place at short.