If you want to learn about the minutiae of baseball while simultaneously killing a few hours, check out Alan M. Nathan's Physics of Baseball. Today, he took advantage of the 5000fps batting camera Fox Sports is using during the NLCS to explain a bit about the physics of hitting a round ball moving at high speed with a round bat.
This clip from Game 4 shows Marco Scutaro hitting the ball right near the tip of the barrel. The amplitude of the resulting vibration is so large that the bat breaks and the ball weakly dribbles off the bat. Note that the bat splinters toward the pitcher. The reason is that when the ball hits the barrel tip, the barrel of the bat bends backward toward the catcher and the center of the bat bulges forward toward the pitcher.