Pence likely to get day off despite lengthy streak
Outfielder leads NL with 191 consecutive starts, in early slump at plate
DENVER -- Hunter Pence remains the last man standing from the Giants' Opening Day lineup -- the only player to start each of the Giants' first 20 games this season.
Monday's start in the series opener in Colorado marked his 191st consecutive start, the longest streak in the National League and second in the Majors to Prince Fielder's 524 consecutive starts. Manager Bruce Bochy has indicated that Pence is likely to get a day off before too long.
"We've talked about it," Bochy said. "I even told him this spring, probably we'd like to do it early so we don't get caught up in a streak. He's pretty adamant that he wants to play every day. When he's tired, he'll let me know. He'll do whatever, but he wants to be out there."
It's hard to argue with Pence's numbers from 2013, when he played in all 162 games and hit .283 with 27 homers and 99 RBIs.
But in 2013, Pence is off to a .181 (13-for-72) start with one home run and three RBIs.
"This guy is pretty tough," Bochy said, rejecting the idea that Pence is in need of a break. "Mentally he's as tough as they come, and a very positive thinker. He's thrown up some good at-bats. He's had hard luck. He's going to come out of this; it's a matter of time. He's not caught up in the numbers at all. If you watch Hunter play, he never lets up. Sometimes that'll show when you're getting beat up a little bit, as far as having success. With him it never shows."
Pence entered Monday in an 0-for-10 slump and was 2-for-17. He was hitless through the three-game series in San Diego.
"He hit some balls really hard there," Bochy said. "That happens in Petco. The ball just stays up there a little bit longer and it gives the outfield a chance to run them down."
Pence has shown his value, however, already surpassing his 2013 total of outfield assists with three and leading the team with four stolen bases.
"Right now he's going to be out there," Bochy said. "We need him. One thing he does give you is energy at the top of the lineup. He stole a couple of big bases there in San Diego."