IndisPenceable. 176 comments


Hunter Pence drove in all four Rangers runs in last night’s 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh.

 

After watching Hunter Pence in just one at-bat or make one play in the field, it’s impossible not to root for him. He seems like a regular guy. Like he’s the guy from IT you let play on the company softball team because he’s the only one who knows how to get your email working.

When he throws, it looks like the ligament in his elbow is connected to his ankle. He runs like he was made from scrap iron in a junk yard. But what it is, though, is his spine.

In 2013, after six seasons as a major leaguer, and as he was signing a five-year, $90 million free agent contract with the Giants, doctors discovered Pence suffers from Scheuermann’s disease, a spinal disorder that results in a severely deformed vertebrae.

That never prevented him from playing professional baseball at the highest level. He’s been an All-Star three times, finished in the top twenty in MVP voting three times, and has won two World Series rings.

The guy is a winner.

Pence has been one of those players who has achieved sustained greatness for a long time. One of those guys you always wished would be a Ranger. Not just because he grew up a few miles from the Ballpark but because he plays the game right. He is a pure hitter.

When it seems like he was used up, the Rangers signed him to a minor league contract just before spring training. They treated him like an afterthought. This is a rebuilding year and Pence doesn’t fit that plan.

Only he does. He has the energy and work ethic that can only be a positive influence in the clubhouse. He can lead by example.

All he’s done since he put on a Rangers uniform is produce. The more he produces, the more playing time he is getting.

Sure, he’s not part of the Rangers future. But he’s one of the few bright spots in the Rangers present. And nobody goes to the Ballpark to see tomorrow’s game.

With so many of the Rangers core young players underperforming—Mazara, Odor, DeShields, Guzman—guys like Pence remind you of how high the bar is and how far so many of these players need to go to get there.

Maybe his biggest contribution to the 2019 Rangers will be as a measuring stick.

*****
TODAY’S GAME:

Shelby Miller (1-2, 7.99) vs. Nick Kingham (1-0, 6.39)
Game time: 11:35

  • Mr.C

    Great piece Kevin.

    I will be honest with you. I remember Pence playing for the Astros back when he started his MLB career and then signed by the Giants; but never paid attention to his game as I have now that he is with the Rangers.

    How could you as a fan not love this guy and wish he is that RF every single day?

    • JacobMcCandles

      Good post C…..Lot of realities to deal with on this team….Pence,Santana have been bright spots.

  • JacobMcCandles

    ALERT…1130AM start

  • elkaba
    • JacobMcCandles

      Nice play by Laureano……Profar did not react as fast as he could…but recovered nicely. Fiers had the highest era of a pitcher to throw a no hitter.

    • Nate Whitten

      Wouldn’t you know?

      • elkaba

        I’m glad he’s doing good.

  • elkaba

    Pence is nothing short of amazing. And yes, he’s a good measuring stick for how much our soon-to-be-not-really-so-young-any-more players still need to improve.

  • Rowdy Yates

    C’mon Rangers, don’t let the Putz Pirates sweep the season series. Slightly better chance of a win today with only 2 sub .200 hitters in the lineup vs. yesterday’s 3.

  • Nate Whitten

    You had this one pegged from the start, if my memory serves me well. I don’t remember your exact words and am not inclined to find them. There were other folks on board with you, but I can’t remember them either. Any, all of you who said he was a good pick-up were right. Y’all said he was a gamer and would be an asset to the team at the start of ST. He has done nothing but prove that he is a guy you want on your team. He hits. He does his best in the field, using his head in all aspects of the game. As Elk wrote. he is a great example for the younger players. Just imagine if Odor had his attitude and demeanor. Of course I am in dreamland when I think along those lines. But just think how much that would help him. To lose the attitude he hasn’t backed up. Maybe he would learn something.
    Regardless of how the younger players respond to his example, I am glad he is a Ranger. He can stay around as long as he likes if it’s up to me.

    • elkaba

      We’ve know all along that this was the year for separating the wheat from the chaff. It’s time to find out what kind of team we have and where the guys we have can (or can’t) take us. I think Pence is a great example of the kind of wheat we should be going for, and so far, unfortunately, the chaff is really starting to stand out. I just hope we see JD and Co. respond accordingly.

      The GM’s job is a tough one. It requires a lot of quick, real time decisions about things that may or may not bear fruit for a good while, if ever. And I don’t hold it against a GM to say he missed on one move or another. GM’s are just as human as the rest of us. I just want to see an end to the perpetual waiting for moves to pan out that never do, or at least they don’t pan out here.

      And in that vein, I’m not really a fan of a lot of rear view mirror second guessing when it comes to moving on from something that didn’t work out as planned. I like seeing former Rangers doing well elsewhere, and I don’t think it necessarily follows that they would have or could have done as well here. I guess I’m more, “What have you done for us lately.”

      It’s a tough edge to navigate, deciding how long to wait and how long is too long. I’m glad we waiting on Joey (nice homer #12 there). I’m just not sure we should continue waiting on some others.

  • WhoKnowscs

    21 pitches and counting and only 1 out.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Silly risk

  • RR3

    The Rangers could really use a big hit on the road. Just once.

    • WhoKnowscs

      or someone smart enough to work a walk vs a struggling pitcher.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Odor hits worse than the pitcher.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Gollo being Gallo.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Odor being Odor.

  • RR3

    Number 100.

    Gallo’s lifetime home run total, not Odor’s 2019 strikeout total.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Odor will soon be .100.

    • elkaba

      LOL

  • WhoKnowscs

    It’s the fourth inning. The TJS starts getting shaky here.

  • WhoKnowscs

    How about a quick double play here?

  • WhoKnowscs

    DAVE!!! Way too excited about that homer.

  • WhoKnowscs

    I said double play, not double runs.

  • Rowdy Yates

    There’s a great article today in the WSJ about the Astros success built around new technologies and their company culture. Goes into the attempts of franchises trying to hire away Astro personnel to gain inside info and the Astros attempts to protect their “intellectual property”. But I thought the final paragraph the most important:

    “There’s a difference between knowing how a successful organization operates and getting a different organization to operate that way” Luknow said, “And it’s almost impossible to change a culture”.

    And IMO that is the bottom line with the Rangers. The Astros didn’t change for the better until they changed the entire FO. I don’t expect the Rangers to get consistently good until JD and his lieutenants are gone because the culture he’s built won’t change.

    • WhoKnowscs

      There’s no secret strategy in getting rid of all your players with talent and tanking 2-3 years in a row for top draft picks.

    • elkaba

      I can see why people want to rob the Astros for ideas and why they prefer to protect what’s theirs. There’s no question the Astros have built a good team, but as to whether they did it purposefully or got backed into it by the change in ownership, financial difficulties, bad TV deal, etc., is less sure.

      Absent those problems, I think it’s hard to see an ownership group agreeing to so wholesale a changeover in personnel (and thus culture.) Yes, I’d love to tear my house down and rebuild it from scratch, but that’s not likely for very good reasons. More likely, I’m going to fix it up as best I can, little by little.

      I think that’s the reality for most baseball teams, too. Too much invested in what’s there now to start over from scratch. Like all GMs JD makes good decisions and bad ones. I’d just like to see him grow up as a GM to the point where he’s not so intent on clinging to his mistakes. 🙂

      If that doesn’t happen after these last few seasons, the owners should move on.

      • Rowdy Yates

        He’s been “clinging to his mistakes” for yrs now. Time to go. And I’ve never been a big fan of the Rangers’ ownership tandem. They go now too as far as i’m concerned.

        • elkaba

          LOL, yeah. That’s another problem! With our elderly ownership, they don’t have enough years left to wait out starting over from scratch!

        • JacobMcCandles

          Agreed

      • JacobMcCandles

        Correct….but Luhnow proportionately makes less mistakes

      • calntom

        I like what the front office is doing now. Trading, buying, drafting, signing. I follow the farm as much as I follow the MLB team. There are guys scattered throughout A, A+and AA that we don’t even talk about that are tossing some consistent quality innings, every week. Definitely something to keep an eye on.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Miller is toast.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Outs aren’t coming easily.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Miller won’t make it through the fifth unless you score some runs.

  • Rowdy Yates

    Nice K by Miller to get out of that jam.

    Gotta head over to Whataburger and get some lunch. And it’s pouring again. Already have twice the avg May and May’s our rainiest month. But as it’s Texas I’m always happy to see rain.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Triple coming.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Triple hits.

  • WhoKnowscs

    That wasn’t a strike.

  • WhoKnowscs

    New Batting Order top 4.

    Choo
    Mazara/Pence
    Gallo
    Andrus

    • calntom

      Andrus in the 2 hole

  • WhoKnowscs

    This is where we lose the game. Can Pence play 3rd?

    • GoRangers23

      Maybe we should be asking, can Hunter pitch? 😄

      • WhoKnowscs

        No, I want his bat. Can Odor pitch? He hits like one.

        • GoRangers23

          Oh, that true. But if he is as good a pitcher as he is a position player, he could make a different kind of impact on the game. We wouldn’t need that many runs if we had a pitcher who could keep the balls from being hit. However, I was just kidding.

          • GoRangers23

            😄

        • WhoKnowscs

          I guess in an NL Park it doesn’t matter but it’s an AL Park tomorrow.

  • WhoKnowscs

    After they score is too late.

  • WhoKnowscs

    when you have to resort to trying to bunt to lead off an inning it speaks volumes

  • WhoKnowscs

    Strikeout coming.

  • WhoKnowscs

    If they through him a breaking pitch he’d K

  • GoRangers23

    It seems that Rougie’s comeback didn’t last very long. That’s too bad.

    • WhoKnowscs

      What comeback? All I saw was him hit a bad pitcher everyone else hit too.

      • WhoKnowscs

        Same with the last game he homered in.

      • GoRangers23

        It was considered a teeny tiny comeback. 😄. Now he’s fallen off the wagon again. Apparently with his short legs, he’s having a hard time keeping up with the wagon. Lo

  • WhoKnowscs

    Odor is everything wrong with the front office in one player.

  • GoRangers23

    Stink!

  • WhoKnowscs

    Apparently the Rangers have reverted to little league play.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Yelich hits #16

  • GoRangers23

    I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK IS A SANDWICH!!! Zip it!

  • GoRangers23

    HAHAHAHAHA!! YOU GO HUNTER PENCE!!!!

  • RR3

    Pence again.

    Why is he not a regular?

    • WhoKnowscs

      Because . . . Oh I don’t know ask JD.

    • GoRangers23

      I’ve said that this whole time! It makes NO sense!

    • WhoKnowscs

      Because JD wants people to pay today for a team tomorrow.

    • elkaba

      He doesn’t cost enough.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Of course he’s a regular. He produces regular RBI.

  • GoRangers23

    And just like that we’re tied! I love this game! Lol

    • elkaba

      I’m liking it better now. 🙂

      • GoRangers23

        Ha!

  • Rowdy Yates

    Missed a lot the last 3 innings and just got home in time to see Pence touch home plate. And reinforce all our earlier comment over the last few weeks.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Pence has 8 RBI in 2 games at a NL PARK.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Good news! it’s a tie game with only 1 scheduled inning left.

    Bad news. Pence isn’t available anymore.

    • elkaba

      He should be starting every game.

      • WhoKnowscs

        Yes he should.

  • WhoKnowscs

    IKF! IKF! IKF!

  • Rowdy Yates

    Way to go IKF. Mazara was lucky. FDR in a wheelchair moved faster than Maz does.

  • elkaba

    All we need an Odor single to add some insurance. What are the odds?…

    • elkaba

      Obviously, odds were good! Hahahaha!

    • WhoKnowscs

      That works to.

    • WhoKnowscs

      He’s playing for his job with Guzman coming back.

  • Rowdy Yates

    And Odor joins the party … basically after it’s over. Still good to see him do something … anything … that’s encouragement he might come around.

    • elkaba

      And the congratulations show his teammates are behind him. (Love our new hitting coach BTW)

  • GoRangers23

    He temporarily caught up with the wagon again! Go Rougie! Lol

    • elkaba

      Get him in a seat belt, quick!

      • GoRangers23

        Ha!

      • WhoKnowscs

        Super Glue.

    • WhoKnowscs

      “Unemployment” (or AAA) is looming for someone. It’s a powerful motivator.

      • Rowdy Yates

        That should be DD IMO. Just can’t have sub ,200 guy with a weak arm out there.

        • WhoKnowscs

          Him Odor or a pitcher. Gomez or Brett Martin.

          • WhoKnowscs

            I’m only basing it on stats. Money means Odor won’t go.

  • WhoKnowscs

    They needs to incorporate an eephus into the repertoire

  • WhoKnowscs

    Home run Derby of Trout, Gallo, and ______ vs Harper, Bryant, and _______

    • RR3

      Yelich has to be in there. So does Bellinger.

      • WhoKnowscs

        Can they make it 4 per league? Add in Judge and Davis then.

  • elkaba

    Wow! Nice win!

  • Rowdy Yates

    Nice comeback win by the Rangers!

  • GoRangers23

    WOOHOO!!

  • WhoKnowscs

    At least we don’t have a day off tomorrow.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Let’s play Hang man
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    • GoRangers23

      Are there any spaces in there or is it one gigantic word?

      • WhoKnowscs

        3 words. 6 letters, 6 letters, 5 letters.

        • GoRangers23

          I forgot how to play Hang Man. We just guess a letter right? Then when three wrong letters are guessed, we’re out?

          • WhoKnowscs

            Basically the 3 wrong guesses is adjustable but yeah it’s basically like wheel of fortune without the wheel.

          • GoRangers23

            Alright I will guess the first letter. S

          • WhoKnowscs

            |

            |

            |

            |_

          • GoRangers23

            There’s no S?

          • WhoKnowscs

            nope

          • GoRangers23

            I guess I should let someone else guess. I will come back later to see where it is.

    • TD30

      I will guess
      T

      • WhoKnowscs

        _ _ _ _ T _
        _ _ _ _ _ _
        _ _ _ _ _

    • GoRangers23

      I will make another guess. I think I might know what the last two words are…..maybe. So H.

      • WhoKnowscs

        _ _ _ _ T _
        H_ _ T _ _
        _ _ _ _ _

      • WhoKnowscs

        Yeah it’s not really that difficult if at all.

    • TD30

      How about an E

      • WhoKnowscs

        _ _ _ _ T E
        H _ _ T E _
        _ E _ _ E

        • Mr.C

          I can solve that!

    • GoRangers23

      Is it—
      Pirate
      Hunter
      Pence
      ?

      • WhoKnowscs

        Yes. Said it wasn’t that hard.

        • GoRangers23

          You should do some more of those. That was fun. 😄

  • WhoKnowscs

    Now, go Royals.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Gallo is the first player in Major League history to reach 100 home runs before 100 singles, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

    No player had ever reached 100 home runs before 100 singles, and none
    had even had fewer than 172 singles at the time of that 100th career HR.

    • JacobMcCandles

      First player in AL to get 100 in that time and third in MLB history

  • JacobMcCandles

    Although we needed the Gallo HR…more excited by the 3 walks…….Plenty left in that Pence tank

  • Mr.C

    Jake Scouting Services got it right.

    Delino optioned to AAA to make room for Guzman

    • JacobMcCandles

      Don’t tell anyone that I did, I don’t know anything about Baseball

      • Mr.C

        I think Pence performance in this series opened some eyes. I kept asking myself why is Pence not starting in the outfield every day?

        Well, this decision will allow Pence to be an everyday outfielder.

        What’s your take on the lineup tomorrow?

        • JacobMcCandles

          Has it been posted

          • Mr.C

            Nope.

            I still believe Elvis should be the lead off in the lineup followed by Choo.

            Elvis can steal bases and his OBP is comparable to Choo’s

          • elkaba

            I like Choo where he is and Elvis, as well- ‘taint broken, so leave it alone. And now I like Gallo and Pence where they are, too! 🙂

          • Mr.C

            It will probably stay like that; but I think Elvis leading adds the base stealing capability that Choo lacks.

            Choo’s patience at the plate is ideal for a lead up hitter to have a chance to steal bases.

          • elkaba

            I don’t like messing with what’s working, despite the slight advantage of switching them. Elvis has always preferred batting 2nd and Choo has been outstanding leading off. Keep Gallo and Pence together, as is, with one or the other cleanup.

          • Mr.C

            Ha!
            So…. leave Pence in the bench so he can continue pinch hitting?

            (((( Not a good argument ))))

          • elkaba

            No to Pence on the bench!

          • JacobMcCandles

            Choo
            Elvis
            Maz
            Gallo
            Pence
            Forsythe
            Odor
            Guz
            Santana

          • Mr.C

            Who’s the catcher
            Santana?

            LOL

          • JacobMcCandles

            Forgot

        • Rowdy Yates

          Pence in LF, CF, and RF.

          • Mr.C

            I like Pence in RF
            Mazara/Choo in LF/DH

        • WhoKnowscs

          How about for Tomo
          Choo DH
          Andrus SS
          Mazara RF
          Gallo CF
          Pence LF
          Guzman 1B
          Cabrera 3B
          Catcher
          Odor 2B

          • Mr.C

            Close to what I was thinking
            I like it; but I don’t think Woody will move Odor to the 9th spot.

          • WhoKnowscs

            The closer he is to the bottom the better. With Minor pitching, Mathis will be catching likely.

          • Mr.C

            Knowing Woody, the lineup tomorrow will be:

            Choo
            Andrus
            Mazara
            Gallo
            Pence
            Odor
            Cabrera
            Catcher
            Guzman

          • WhoKnowscs

            Or

            Choo
            Andrus
            Mazara
            Gallo
            Pence
            Guzman
            Odor
            Catcher
            Carbrera

            I still like Odor 9th though.

    • TD30
      • Mr.C

        LOL

      • Mr.C

        Where is the blue hair?

      • GoRangers23

        I’m sorry TD! I know how it feels when your favorite player isn’t doing so well.

    • elkaba

      Wow! Did NOT see that coming, but it makes sense.

      • Nate Whitten

        They really had no choice. With 3 SP incapable of going more than 5, all bullpen arms are needed. If Pence, Santana, or Forsythe are sent down, some other team snatches them up. Odor is going to stay unless the slump doesn’t stop. These last 2 games indicate that he’s coming around. DD is needed. His speed made Pence’s slam possible. But his OBP is so low that his speed is not getting used all that much. The day comes when a long-term decision must be made. I don’t know when he is out of options. When he is, then the long-term decision will be made. I am hoping that he makes it easy–by being so good that being sent down is not a consideration.

    • calntom

      Sweet!!!!!!!!!

      • Nate Whitten

        I don’t see anything to be happy about, other than Guzman’s return. Sending down the fastest player on the team is not a good thing. But, the team had no other choice. Santana, Pence, and Forsythe comprise the best bench in MLB and any of them would have been snatched up in NY minute. 3 SP that can’t go 5 means all arms are need in the ‘pen. So what do you do? Odor is coming around and will be at 2B for Texas for a long time.
        DD could be(and has been) a very valuable player. This teams lacks speed. He has it. But he can’t get on base to use it. I hate to see him go.

        • calntom

          I am still elated

  • Mr.C

    Is Cabrera injured?

  • Mr.C

    I hope Houston wins tonight!

    • WhoKnowscs

      I’m rooting for KC.

      • Mr.C

        They are playing Golden State tonight.

        ;-P

        • WhoKnowscs

          Not the same sport for me. = )

      • JacobMcCandles

        Why do u not like a Lone Star team

    • JacobMcCandles

      Springer hit his 28th leadoff HR

  • JacobMcCandles

    Fiers has thrown 2 complete games both no hitters

  • isittime

    Just now seeing the replay and pence’s slam. What a pick up he was. Nice write up on him by the way Kevin.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Astros win 9-0 hit 4 Hrs and struck out 17

    • WhoKnowscs

      Are we supposed to give them a medal for beating the 2nd worst team(by record) in baseball?

      • JacobMcCandles

        Jealousy or envy or both?

  • WhoKnowscs

    Chris Sale’s 7th inning tonight, 9 pitches. 3 K’s

    • JacobMcCandles

      Supposed to give him a medal?

    • RR3

      They call that an immaculate inning. Pretty impressive.