The Giants don’t win pretty, but they find a way to get it done as they took a 2-0 series lead last night against Detroit. The same could be said of Game 2 hero, and former Phillie, Hunter Pence. His wild gangly physique coupled with his playoff beard makes him look like an old train yard hobo. Phillies fans know not to judge Pence by his bizarre exterior, letting his play on the field speak for itself.
Last night was the perfect example of why Hunter Pence is such a good player. Sure, he’ll never be a high on base guy, and he struggled mightily during his brief tenure in San Francisco, but he’ll be remembered for nights like game 2.
Pence got the rally going in the 7th with a single, then scored the go-ahead run on Brandon Crawford’s double play grounder. The Giants didn’t need any more runs than that, but Pence came up again in the 8th and drove in the second Giant run on a sac-fly.
His game was in no way comparable to Pablo Sandoval’s historic game one performance, but Pence was a big reason why the Giants eked out the victory. Pence has become a grizzly cheerleader, hyping up the team before and during the game. Passion and energy have never been a problem for Hunter, but he never exhibited that type of leadership when Utley and Howard were out. His lowly .143 average won’t garner many MVP votes, but the Giants acquisition of Pence is finally paying dividends in the World Series.
I still stand by the Phillies decision to trade Pence, as his financial burden was exceeding his output. But, what they miss the most is his energy and take no prisoners attitude on the field. The Phils need to look beyond the numbers when filling their holes this off-season, and inject some life back into the clubhouse that is now igniting the Giants World Series run.