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Angel Pagan And The Best At-Bat Of The Year (Again)

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(And by "at-bat" I mean "plate appearance," which would've looked terrible in my headline.)

Last year, Angel Pagan had the best at-bat... heck, all-around moment... of the Giants' season. Perhaps of any Giant season. In the top 20 all-time, to be sure. You know what I mean. The inside-the-park walk-off home run against Colorado in late May, although the moment was short-lived, as we soon found out Pagan had left one of his hamstring tendons in the third-base coaches box. 

That officially was an at-bat. Which brings us to tonight. I can hereby submit my first nomination for plate appearance of the year. Ladies and gentlemen, señoras y señores: Angel Pagan. 

In the fifth, leading off against cheese-hucking Nate Eovaldi and his team down by a run, Pagan quickly went down 0-2. Foul after foul after foul, a few close calls, and after ten pitches Pagan was improbably on first with a walk. 

Angel walk.JPG
Or if you prefer...

numlocation.php.gifIt pushed Eovaldi's pitch count into the 70s, if I remember Jon Miller's play-by-play correctly, and set up the Giants for the biggest inning of the night. (It didn't hurt that, next up, the umpires didn't see that the weak dribbler Hunter Pence hit actually touched his foot halfway up the line, which should have ruled Pence out and sent Pagan back to first. Instead they called it a foul ball, prolonged the at-bat, and he singled to extend the rally.) 

Pence's sequence required a fair bit of luck, but Pagan's did not. He provided the expert body shot that softens up an opponent just before the knockout punch. It was all the more beautiful because the standard disclaimer on Pagan is "When healthy..." 

And right now, he's not. He's got a "chronic tear" in his knee, which seems as reassuring as a mild case of stupidity. Pagan's quietly excellent skills seem to hum along on borrowed time, so let's enjoy them and write blog posts about them as long as we can. 

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