SF Giants News

San Francisco Giants: Enjoy Hunter Pence While You Can

By Michael Saltzman
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 24: Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two run walk off double against the San Diego Padres during the eleventh inning at AT&T Park on June 24, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the San Diego Padres 3-2 in 11 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 24: Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two run walk off double against the San Diego Padres during the eleventh inning at AT&T Park on June 24, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the San Diego Padres 3-2 in 11 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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The San Francisco Giants have a great recent history that has seen three championships this decade. Hunter Pence is a huge reason for two of those World Series titles.

Since then, Pence has had a hard time staying healthy and this year is no exception. Pence is in the final year of his contract and there are plenty of fans who want to see the San Francisco Giants trade the heart and soul of this team.

Heart and soul is certainly invaluable, but his stats on the field suggest that he should not be an every day player anymore.

He’s tried changing his swing in the middle of the season and he has tried to play a new position.

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Pence is saying all the right things as well, only talking about the team and how much he wants to help the team win.

Tonight, he helped the team win.

Pence came in as a pinch hitter and, after a couple of bad swings, he was able to hit a ball up the middle and lead off the seventh inning with a single. After Alen Hanson bunted him over and Buster Posey was intentionally walked, Andrew McCutchen came to the plate.

McCutchen’s single scored Pence without a throw and, just like that, the Giants had a 3-2 lead they did not relinquish.

Pence has had some big moments this year, even if they have been few and far between.

His walk off win two weeks ago was as big a moment as he has had in recent memory.

It was something special that fans must realize is almost over.

Pence is unlikely to be re-signed when his contract is up at the end of the year. It is possible he won’t even last the season if the Giants decide to trade or release him.

For seven seasons, Giants fans have watched Hunter give everything he has on the field. We have seen catches up against the wall, mammoth home runs, three hit doubles, high socks, tongues out and hair everywhere.

Just as the Giants sent Matt Cain off into the sunset last season, we may be seeing the same in 2018 with Hunter Pence. If that happens, it will be tough as we get closer to game 162.

On a personal note, Matt Cain was my all-time favorite Giant and his final game last year broke me down. I was on the edge of my seat in the fifth inning with two outs and when Cain got the grounder to Brandon Crawford, I jumped out of my chair and pumped my first like I was watching the perfect game all over again.

If Pence is given a chance to play in game 162, I might not be able to handle a heroic at bat. Either way, Giants fans should enjoy these special moments.

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We aren’t going to see nearly as many as we did in 2012 or 2014, but we are going to see more. Enjoy them, because they won’t last forever.

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