San Francisco Giants look to Hunter Pence for deliverance
Jul 7, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence (8) hits a RBI single against the New York Mets in the third inning of their MLB baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
After a seven-game skid that started on the road and ended at home, the San Francisco Giants sorely needed a shot in the arm.
They got it in the return of Hunter Pence.
In a Monday interview with Murph and Mac, Duane Kuiper told the KNBR morning duo that the Giants will have to win at least 90 games to have a chance of playing postseason baseball. So, with another loss Monday afternoon, the time to ease Pence back into the lineup had passed.
Put simply by Brian Murphy:
And reiterated by Bruce Bochy (via Alex Pavlovic):
And with that, Hunter lifted the Giants and brought some of that championship swagger back. Bringing in two of the three runs scored last night, Pence injected life and excitement to a team reeling from injuries and fatigue. He also saved the shutout with this impressive catch, and even more impressive throw home:
The man is absolutely electric, and no doubt the catalyst that makes this Giants squad feel like there is nothing they can’t do when he’s on the field. Combine that electricity with a sudden sense of urgency, and a rotation that is looking sharp, and 90 games does not seem too improbable.
“Don’t call it a comeback.” Matt Cain wanted to make that literal statement last night when he entered the game to a classic jam from 1990.
As the song proclaims, Cain has “been here for years, rockin’ [his] peers and puttin’ suckas in fear.”
Confidence is key, and on the strength of Cain’s right arm and the return of The Reverend, the Orange and Black regained that on Tuesday night.
Hopefully, with a semi-fresh pair of arms in the rotation, Hunter doing his thing, and Nori Aoki expected back 1-2 weeks after the All-star break, the Giants can make a run. Sure the bullpen needs to improve, sure the club could shake things up and make a move before the deadline, and sure our young players—namely Joe Panik and Matt Duffy—look a little tired.
But if there’s one thing I know about this team, it’s that they won’t give up. Until they’re mathematically eliminated, I won’t count them out.