SAN FRANCISCO The moment Hunter Pences flight landed Tuesday night,he switched on his smartphone app and checked the Giants score.
I saw it was 3-1 in the seventh inning, he said. OK,good.
Yep, he's officially invested. And vice versa.
Pence didnt arrive in time to join the Giants active roster thatll come on Wednesday, when hell be the starting right fielder andpresumed No. 5 hitter but its never too early for introductions.
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Walking into the stadium was amazing, said Pence, whom theGiants acquired Tuesday morning for Nate Schierholtz, Double-A catcher TommyJoseph and Single-A right-hander Seth Rosin. The fans out there welcoming me they were pumped. That makes you excited to get here.
Youve been on a plane all day, so its refreshing.
Refreshments were served all around in a happy Giantspostgame clubhouse. Pences red Phillies duffel and bat bags rested in a lockeradjacent to Tim Lincecum, who was speaking with reporters after pitching theGiants to a 4-1 victory over the New York Mets.
Lincecum had just finished breaking down his experiencepitching to Pence over the years when the man himself appeared and reachedthrough a group of reporters to shake hands. They share the same agency andtheir fathers are good friends, Lincecum said.
Theres a little anticipation and excitement here, for allof us, Lincecum said.
Pence is a gangly, high-energy performer who definitelydoesnt hit or field from a textbook. But his unpredictability is part of whatmakes him dangerous.
Hes tough to throw to because you dont know what heslooking for and he swings at a lot of pitches and he can hit a lot of pitches,Lincecum said.
Pence learned of the trade while riding in a taxi withformer Giant Kevin Frandsen to Nationals Park, where the Phillies were playinga series. Philadelphia GM Ruben Amaro thanked him for his contributions andwished him luck. From there, Pence packed a bag and caught the first flight hecould make. It was delayed a little more than an hour, so the Giants decided tohold off adding him to the active roster. Theyre expected to place Aubrey Huffback on the disabled list to make room.
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Its the second consecutive year hes been traded midseason,after Houston dealt him to the Phillies last July. The Giants tried to get himthen, too.
This is a different situation altogether, Pence said. Itsa little tighter race, which should make for some fun. You come through thefire a little stronger.
I guess theres less anxiety because Ive done it before. Iknow what I need to do.
Pence isnt sure what explains his success at AT&T Park,a place where most hitters have trouble making an adjustment. As for the trickyright field?
Well, I definitely have to get familiar with it, he said,recalling a time with the Astros when he tripped on the bullpen mound whilechasing a foul ball.
I face planted, he said. So I know where that is now.