|Photo by SD Dirk via Flickr|
Although the Giants are 1-5 since his return from a back injury, Pagan was the difference in Wednesday's 7-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. He served a sinking 94-mph fastball the opposite way for a bases-loaded, two-run single that gave the Giants a 3-1 lead in their seven-run, seventh-inning rally.
Disciplined plate approaches like Pagan had in the seventh inning is what most of the Giants' hitters have not been doing in key situations. Instead of overswinging on the Ronald Belisario outside fastball and rolling it over into a ground-ball out, or whiffing at the pitch, he hit a solid line drive.
It's good at-bats like this the Giants hope to see again at the top of the order to get the offense going in front of sellout crowds at AT&T Park. Line drives can be contagious, and they are one virus the Giants hope to catch--instead of the crud.
The numbers suggest Pagan has been putting up similar quality plate appearances at home. In 127 at-bats at home, he is hitting .323, with a .360 on-base percentage and an above-average OPS of .778.
But throwing the numbers out the window, it is those not trying to do too much at-bats that succeed at the Giants' expansive home ballpark. Even if a long swing makes enough contact for a deep fly ball, there is a very good chance it will find a glove.
Pagan's ability to spray the ball to all fields, take the extra base, and steal some bases should help the Giants start more rallies at home--and get the sellout crowds into the game.
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