Hunter Pence singled to the left of third base on a full count with a man on first and nobody out in the 10th inning of the Giants' 2-1 win Tuesday night. It was a good thing he did. He was 0 for 11 in the series and the Giants were in danger of being swept in the NLDS despite playing the first two games at home. Every Giant hitter has struggled so far this postseason. When they take the field Wednesday afternoon, they'll do so with a .126 team batting average in their divisional series with the Reds. But Pence's struggles began once he arrived in San Francisco in a trade deadline move executed by Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. After hitting .217 for the Phillies in July, Pence hit .230 in August and .227 in September for the Giants. Then he went 0 for 9 in October to finish out the regular season. All told, Pence finished the half-season with the Giants hitting .219 with an ugly .287 on-base percentage and a .384 slugging percentage. He was not the corner outfield upgrade Giants GM Brian Sabean thought he'd be getting. He drove in runs – 45 in 59 games – but did little else to endear himself to his new home. It's been a very strange 18-month span for Pence, who began 2011 with the worst team in baseball – the 56-106 Astros – and ended with the 102-win Phillies. Last year was the best of Pence's six-year career. He hit .314/.370/.502 with 38 doubles, 22 home runs and 97 RBI. He was 28, in the prime of his career and was an ascending player only a few years away from his huge payday. But Pence probably isn't a .314 hitter. He's as far from that as he is from a .253 hitter, the number that will sit forever on his 2012 batting line. From 2008-10, Pence hit .278 with a .796 OPS. He missed just 14 games in three years. He barely walked, he hit 25 homers in each season, and he hit into exactly 50 double plays. This is most likely his true talent level. It's a 472-game sample. Good player, not great.
Pence hasn't done himself any favors in SF
CSN Philly | Oct 10