Hunter Pence returns: San Francisco Giants’ stretch run begins today

Hunter Pence

San Francisco Giants’ Hunter Pence, center, rallies the crowd in a post-game cheer for the postseason, after the Giants defeated the San Diego Padres 9-3 in a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

It’s been a bleak couple of weeks for San Francisco Giants fans.

The Giants are 2-11 since the All-Star break.

In eight of their 13 games since the break, the Giants have failed to score more than two runs.

The depression hit a new low Friday when the Giants had the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth and hit into a triple play.

But help arrives today. Hunter Pence was activated Saturday after almost two months on the disabled list.

So I thought I would share a little perspective with disheartened Giants fans.

Since the last game that Hunter Pence appeared in (on June 2), the Giants have gone 25-22 and are still in first place in the NL West.

If we had told you that back on June 3, would you have taken it?

I would.

Pence is back in the lineup. So is Eduardo Nunez, the infielder acquired in a trade with the Twins on Thursday.

Joe Panik came back on Thursday. The Giants’ lineup is almost whole again. Matt Duffy begins his rehab assignment today.

To make room for Pence on the 25-man roster, Ramiro Pena was designated for assignment.

Giants fans were excited to see what the lineup might look like on Saturday, with Pence and Nunez in it.

Instead, they got another lesson in the value of depth.

Brandon Crawford got a day off to rest a sore hand. Denard Span got the day off with a sore quad.

The lineup will go:

SS Eduardo Nunez
LF Angel Pagan
3B Conor Gillaspie
C Buster Posey
RF Hunter Pence
1B Brandon Belt
2B Joe Panik
CF Gregor Blanco
P Jake Peavy

Gillaspie in the No. 3 hole is a good indication that when Ehire Adrianza comes off the DL on Tuesday, Mac Williamson will head back to Sacramento. Also, Cory Gearrin started his rehab stint.

So wipe the slate clean. The stretch run to the postseason starts today.

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