Jay Bruce must have forgotten he was playing in San Francisco. Thinking there was a wall where there was no wall, he gave Angel Pagan a game-winning double as the Giants beat the Reds 4-3 on Sunday.
There were two outs in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth when Pagan hit a ball to right off Jose Arredondo. It might have been a tricky play in a few ballparks, but it shouldn’t have been at AT&T Park with its deep right field. Bruce was looking for the wall when he hadn’t even reached the warning track.
Here’s the clip.
Even Bobby Abreu is wondering what he was worried about. Pagan was credited with an RBI double, which scored Buster Posey from second base.
Bruce, one of Tony La Russa’s manager selections, was pretty clearly the weakest outfielder picked for the NL All-Star team today. He ranks tied for fourth in the NL with 17 homers, but it comes with a .257 average and a .327 OBP. He ranks 10th among NL outfielders with an .853 OPS.
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.