The man is wearing Hunter Pence's uniform, but this is not Hunter Pence. The man batting third for the Phillies on Friday is a work in progress, a beta test of a new version of the Phillies right fielder, one that has yet to fully form but is nevertheless different from the player who existed for the first six weeks of the season. "I'm in a place where I'm searching a little bit right now," Pence said. "I don't feel like myself, but I'm trying to get better." These are difficult words for Pence to say, and he understands their gravity. Pence says he's at his best when he's loose and aggressive and comfortable, and he is none of those things right now. But that style of play, he believes, needs to evolve, and his subpar start to the 2012 season is his evidence. "That (approach) wasn't working very well," he said. "So I'm trying to make changes for the better." This is the great paradox of baseball. It is a game of adjustments, but over the course of 162 days on the field, the numbers tend to even out and a player is defined. Perhaps Friday's game-winning two-run blast in the top of the 10th inning was the result of those adjustments Pence is making. Perhaps the law of averages finally caught up with a player who's had his share of bad breaks.
Pence finds swing, lifts Phillies over Cardinals
Courier-Post | May 26