This season has been quite a roller coaster ride for Hunter Pence. And Tuesday’s extra inning win over his old team, the Astros, was a microcosm of his year so far.
Ups – Pence gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the 6th inning with a solo home run to right field. It was the first time in a long time he got ahead of pitch and sent it the other way. Brian Schneider had a 2-run homer in the 1st inning which accounted for the other 2 runs to that point.
Downs – With a 3-1 score in the 9th, thanks to 8 amazing innings pitched from Cliff Lee, the wheels began to fall off. Chad Qualls did his Jekyll and Hyde routine again, giving up hits left and right. But even after the Astros crept closer, cutting the lead to 3-2, Hunter Pence had another bad moment.
On a single to right with a man on third, Pence fielded the ball nicely, freezing the runner. But after he exchanged the ball to his hand, it fell out off his hand, bounced off his knee and skidded away, allowing the run to score and tie the game. This is a really original error; I have never seen anything like it.
All Around – What comes around, goes around, or so they say. And luckily for Pence, the game came full circle as he was given a chance to redeem himself in the 10th inning. The walk-off homer he smashed to left was made even more sweet by the fact that it came off a pitch from former Phillie, and Pence’s former teammate, Brett Myers. Ah, redemption!
The one thing I can tell you about Pence for sure is that he is not boring. As far as what may be in store for Pence next, I do not think even he knows….toss a coin.
The Phillies are in Chicago next for 2 games starting tonight at 8:05pm against the Cubs. Vance Worley stayed in Philly to have a sore elbow checked out so Kyle Kendrick will start instead. There has been no word on Worley’s condition yet…stay tuned.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography