Giants, Pence rip into last-place Phillies
‘Pence on the Fence’ night at AT&T Park could be renamed ‘Pence over the Fence’ night after the damage Hunter Pence did on Cole ‘Hollywood’ Hamels.
On a night where specially-ticketed fans received Pence dolls as part of a Giants giveaway, Hamels (L, 5-7, 3.63 ERA) got caught by a rare Giants rally in the bottom of the fourth.
— Jackie Harbour (@jackieharbour) July 11, 2015
With the game tied at one apiece, Giants bats tallied four runs on six hits when Hunter Pence, the former Phillie, unleashed a bone-chilling, opposite-field grand slam over the Levi’s Landing wall — the same wall he took on for his famous catch — to put Giants out of reach in their 15-2 win over Philadelphia Friday night.
Bochy said he is surprised to see Pence back in action without a stutter:
“Hunter’s come back and it’s really impressive how he’s come back and swung well. He’s using the whole field too, looks like he’s seeing the ball well.”
San Francisco unleashed some drought-relieving offense; the eight-run fourth marked their highest scoring inning this season, and 22 hits is the most ever in a single game for the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
Those runs aren’t overkill, but a statement. The Phillies came into this series with worst record in baseball — 10-29 — dating back to May 30. The Giants now sit just above them at 14-23.
This is a rubber series, of sorts, answering a question the reigning World Champions never thought they’d have to ask: Which bad team is better headed into the All-Star break?
The Giants offense had an answer. Let’s break it down: Every one of the starting nine got a hit except Brandon Crawford. Angel Pagan, who came into the game with just one hit in 13 at bats, went 3-for-6 with two RBI.
Pagan, who had new spring in his step after a nice day off Thursday, was grinning ear-to-ear after his breakout night against a tough foe:
“Hamels is a really good pitcher and he always throws that change-up and cutter and gets you off balance but today we had some great at bats against him … You’re gonna have some slumps. You’re gonna have some good moments, but today it was awesome.”
“It’s great they broke out tonight. We had some guys that have been struggling and I’m really happy for them that they had some good at bats. Success tonight … Especially when you’re going against Hamels. The one inning we had some great at bats and of course Pence topped it off. They did a great job of using the whole field and kept the line moving there. Its been a long time since we’ve had a game like this.”
“I thought the guys just did a good job not trying to do too much against a good pitcher.”
Joe Panik hit a two-run shot in the seventh and went 4-for-6 and Justin Maxwell, who was batting a dismal .108 in his past 40 at bats, matched a career high four hits, with a walk and two RBI. Matt Duffy got four hits. Brandon Belt got two and Madison Bumgarner himself went 2-for-3 with an RBI. That’s enough for now.
Bumgarner was was having a good time at the plate, he chuckled:
“It was a fun game, especially on the offensive side.”
Bumgarner (W, 9-5, 3.33 ERA) rebounded off his ugly, early morning Fourth of July game in Washington D.C. with a nice outing at home. He gave up eight hits and a home run to Carlos Ruiz in the fourth. The other Philadelphia run came in the sixth, sending him to the dugout.
It wasn’t his best night, said Bochy:
“I don’t think he was as sharp as we’re used to but he pitched well. He threw the ball very well we just had a pretty good cushion there I didn’t want to over work him. If there’s any time I can save some bullets with him, I’m gonna do it. He didn’t wan to come out.”
George Kontos, it should be noted, inherited the bases loaded and forced an inning-ending ground out. He has now given up no runs with 23 inherited runners this season.
Hamels departed after Pence’s slam having given up 12 hits and nine runs, the most he’s given up in his career–he gave up eight back in April 2013.