SAN FRANCISCO -- A long, busy day for Hunter Pence that started with him finding out in a cab in Washington D.C. that he had been traded to the Giants ended with him arriving at AT&T Park after San Francisco's 4-1 win against the Mets.
"Walking into the stadium was amazing," Pence said. "There were still fans out there welcoming me. The fans are pumped, and that gets you really excited when you get here. I've been on a plane all day traveling, and it's refreshing."
Pence also was welcomed by his excited Giants teammates when he arrived to the clubhouse, including Tuesday night's starter Tim Lincecum, with whom he has the same agent. The two will have neighboring lockers, and they chatted briefly, inquiring about each other's families.
"There was a little bit of anticipated excitement coming in here knowing that Pence will be coming in at any given time," Lincecum said. "We didn't know whether or not he would be in the game or not; that was one of the things we were wondering. Just to have that addition, to have that excitement and energy, guys like that that just have fun out there. Here comes another guy that brings excitement. Playing against him, I know that he's a tough out."
Pence said he got on the first flight to San Francisco he could after packing up from his hotel, where the Phillies are playing the Nationals. The Giants were unsure whether or not he would be available for Tuesday night's game, and he ended up arriving later than anticipated because of a delayed flight.
"It's been pretty hectic for me," Pence said. "My phone has been going off, and I think a lot of people knew before I knew. I was dealing with a lot of hear-say that I was traded."
Pence's bat will be a welcome addition to a slumping Giants lineup that is without Pablo Sandoval (strained left hamstring). Pence, a two-time All-Star, hit .271 with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs in 101 games for the Phillies, and is a career .290 hitter.
"This team is actually doing pretty well as it is," Pence said about the Giants, who are in first place in the National League West. "Hopefully, with me mixing in here, it'll make it a little better. I'm going to look to take it by each game and do the little things to help us win. When it comes to hitting, it's just me versus that pitcher, whatever the game situation dictates. Hopefully the little bit that I can add will make a difference."
While he has played in hitter-friendly ballparks in Houston's Minute Maid Park and Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park during his career, he has had a considerable amount of success at AT&T Park, which is known as a pitcher's ballpark: .329 (25-for-76) average with five home runs and 10 RBIs.
His clearest memory of the park, though, was "face-planting" as he tripped over the bullpen mound while playing right field.
"I didn't forget that, it was a big deal to me," a smiling Pence said.
Pence said he immediately made note of the bullpen mound's location after that, but he'll still be dealing with a right field that is difficult to defend because of the swirling winds and the deep right-center-field gap known as Triples Alley.
"I'm definitely going to have to get more familiar with it," Pence said. "The winds can be tricky, you'll think it's blowing in when it's really blowing out. I'll try to do my best to ask around and go out there and take care of business."