Joe Panik Ties Major League Record in Series with Rockies


With 12 hits in a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies, JoePanik set a franchise record and tied a major league record.

On a night when Pablo Sandoval set a San Francisco Giants’ record for futility, teammate Joe Panik tied a major league record for production. While Sandoval struck out looking in the sixth inning to extend a hitless streak to 37 at-bats (a Giants’ record), Joe Panik picked up five hits, bringing his total to 12 base hits over a three-game series in Coors Field. Maybe Sandoval should ask Panik for a bat to use.

The record series started in a big way, with Panik launching a solo home run in the first inning of the series opener on Monday. It was a slight adjustment before the game that got the ball rolling (or flying off Panik’s bat).

Panik has had trouble all season at AT&T Park, not an uncommon issue for hitters. The second baseman is hitting just .212 at home, and after going 2-15 in four games against the St. Louis Cardinals before hitting the road, Panik went to his hitting coach. Hensley Meulens didn’t have an elaborate fix for Panik. Instead, he simply told him to choke up on the bat. The results during the three games at Coors Field spoke for themselves.

The first at-bat resulted in Panik’s 10th home run, matching his career-high that was set last season, and he didn’t stop hitting after that. In the sixth inning, he sent a base hit up the middle to drive in a run and tie the game at three. His third hit came in the eighth inning, another solid single to center field.

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The hits kept coming on Tuesday. In the first inning, he smoked a double to right-center field before another trio of hits, all singles, over the next seven innings. For Panik, Tuesday marked his sixth career four-hit game and his second of 2017. He outdid himself on Wednesday.

Panik again wasted no time putting his time in the hit column, lashing a single in the first inning against Colorado Rockies’ starter Kyle Freeland. In the fourth inning, he slapped a run-scoring double to left field, past a diving Nolan Arenado, to extend a Giants’ lead to 5-0. Another RBI double came in the sixth inning, this one pulled down the right field line to put an insurance run on the board.

To start the eighth inning, Panik snuck a base hit up the middle just past the reach of DJ LeMahieu, a former Gold Glove second baseman. That hit was his 11th of the three-game series, tying the franchise’s record. Mike Benjamin was the last Giant to do so (and only one in the San Francisco era before Panik), picking up 11 hits in 16 at-bats at Wrigley Field in June of 1995 (Benjamin’s streak included a six-hit game as well).

The offense kept moving, giving Panik one more chance in the ninth inning. With two outs, Panik repeated his eighth-inning hit, shooting a groundball up the middle and by LeMahieu. His 12th hit of the series left him with a franchise, and left him tied for a major league record. He became the fourth big leaguer with 12 hits in a three-game set, and first since the Boston Red Sox Jerry Remy did so in September of 1981. It was also Panik’s second career five-hit game, matching the career-high he set as a rookie on September 9th, 2014.

Panik entered Colorado on Monday hitting .267 on the season, and he left three days later sitting at .285. His OPS was .730 before the series with the Rockies, and is .771 afterwards. It was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime series, and Panik did this by being himself.

He used the entire field, hitting doubles down both the left and right field lines. He used the middle of the field perfectly, sending hit after hit right back from where the pitch came. When LeMahieu was shading Panik slightly to pull, he snuck hit after hit past him and into center field.

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Panik is a great hitter, but he has had his fair share of rough patches over the past two seasons. This series is indicative of how good Panik can be when his swing is right. Hopefully this is the start of a nice, long hot streak for the young second baseman.