Pence creates a buzz but fizzles in Giants debut

12:15 AM, Aug 2, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Hunter Pence prepares to make his SF Giants debut

Rightfielder Hunter Pence made his debut with the San Francisco Giants in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the New York Mets. (PHOTO: US PRESSWIRE)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Newly acquired right fielder Hunter Pence approached the plate to an electric and raucous standing ovation from fans at AT&T Park on Wednesday night in his San Francisco Giants debut.

Unfortunately, that red-hot welcome was cooled as Pence went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and the Giants managed only three hits in the 2-1 loss to the New York Mets.

It would mark the sixth loss in the last seven games for San Francisco.

"I might have been trying to calm myself down too much, trying to relax too much because there was a lot of adrenaline," Pence said following the game.

Pence, the two-time All-Star was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday in exchange for right fielder Nate Schierholtz and two minor league prospects.

The Giants were in desperate need of a big-bat, especially with an injury to one of their best offensive stars in Pablo Sandoval.

General Manager Brian Sabean pulled the trigger on bringing in Pence, especially after the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off an impressive three-game sweep at AT&T Park to tie the Giants atop the National League West.

Offensive firepower is what Pence was brought in to provide. His .269 batting average has seen better days, but inside AT&T Park, he's .329 hitter with five homers in 20 games.

Pence took notice of the loud ovation before taking his first at-bat.

"It was loud, it was rowdy, we had a pretty crazy game," Pence said following the loss. "Unfortunately, I didn't really do much that they brought me over here for."

The 29-year-old Pence spent a lot of time before the game preparing for his first game with his new San Francisco team. He spent almost an hour in right field, learning the lay of the sometimes chaotic land.

He studied the way the ball angles off the wall in front of McCovey Cove and tried to forget the face plant he did while running down a routine fly, when he tripped over the bullpen's pitching mound as a member of the Houston Astros.

Pence told News10 before the game that his adrenaline was racing and that excitement woke him up at 5:00 a.m. where all he could do was think about Wednesday night's game, despite the whirlwind day he experienced Tuesday with the trade.

"It's a lot of change," said Pence. "(There's) a lot of stuff you've got to take care of off the field to get situated, but it's worth it to be in a (pennant) race and to be playing here."

Despite the loss, the Giants hold a one-game lead over the Dodgers in the N.L. West and have a chance to even up the series. Barry Zito (8-7) will pitch for the Giants and be opposed by Mets starter Chris Young (2-5). First pitch is scheduled at 12:45 p.m.

By Sean Cunningham,
Twitter: @News10Sean


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