When you screw up with a seven game lead in the division, you’re colorful. When you do it during an extended swoon that has people wondering whether you can hold on to the lead, you get the raspberries:
There was no translation needed to comprehend the most unusual of sounds showered upon Manny Ramirez in the sixth inning Sunday afternoon:
Dodgers fans loudly voiced their displeasure after the wildly popular left fielder allowed Aramis Ramirez’s hit to roll past him to the wall for a triple that sparked a tiebreaking two-run outburst and gave the Chicago Cubs a 3-1 victory at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers’ poor play has been a team effort lately, but with Ramirez sitting at .254/.345/.431 since the break, you can bet that he’s going to get the lion’s share of the blame if L.A. somehow woofs the division away to the Rockies or Giants.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.