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San Francisco Giants: Pence’s Run Barrage, Posey’s HR Outage

Sep 9, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence (8) safely slides home in front of Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo (7) to score in the second inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence (8) safely slides home in front of Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo (7) to score in the second inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
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Hunter Pence scored four runs on Friday, then again on Saturday. I have no idea how to research this, but it’s got to be a rare occurrence for someone to score four runs in back-to-back games. It must be even more rare for a hitter who isn’t batting at or near the top of the order. It also seems rare for the San Francisco Giants, as a team, to score four runs in back-to-back games—let alone for them to do it three times in a row, as they did in sweeping the Diamondbacks over the weekend.

Not coincidentally, after seeing his average dip as low as .272 a few weeks ago, Pence is now batting .294. Had he not missed those two months with a bum hamstring, he’d be on a pace for around 20 home runs, 40 doubles and 90-plus in both runs scored and RBI. So, he’s doing what is expected of him.

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Buster Posey, meanwhile, hasn’t homered since July 16. The all-star game was July 12. The Giants’ first game after the all-star break was July 15. The Giants have struggled mightily in since the all-star break. I’m not saying it’s all on Posey, but it’s probably not out of line to correlate the team’s struggles with Posey’s.

If you’re not comfortable using home runs as a barometer, then here: Posey’s OPS since the break is .734. That’s acceptable for an average catcher, but lackluster for an elite player like Posey.

But at the moment, Posey’s second-half stats don’t matter much, considering the Giants just scored 23 runs in three games against Arizona. Pence was probably the MVP of the series, but Joe Panik and Belt deserve mention, too. As does Angel Pagan.

Next: Something Amazing Happened the Other Night

The Diamondbacks are a struggling and poorly run team, so I imagine their players are anxious for the season to end. Still, the way the Giants had been playing prior to this series, it’s encouraging that their bats came alive the way they did against the Diamondbacks.

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