Hitless Pence working to make changes

Hunter Pence, arguably the hardest-working Astros offensive player, faced the media with dignity like he does after every game, win or lose, on Wednesday and spoke of his team’s offensive struggles. He’s perhaps the poster child for Houston’s poor performance at the plate in the first three games, but there’s plenty of room on the wall for other faces.

Pence, an All-Star a year ago, is 0-for-12 with four strikeouts and is understandably feeling the frustration. But Michael Bourn and Carlos Lee are 2-for-12 (meaning the Astros’ starting outfield is 4-for-36), Geoff Blum is 2-for-9, Kaz Matsui and Pedro Feliz are hitting .250 and J.R. Towles is 1-for-8.

Still, being hitless after three games eats at Pence like nobody else.

“From my standpoint, never stepping up and not getting any hits, I’m trying to put better at-bats together,” he said. “I feel like there’s something off. I don’t feel like my at-bats have been as good as they should be, and it’s back to the drawing board. The good thing is to get it out of the way early. We have a day off [Thursday] to regroup, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it and make the adjustment.”

Pence has noticed that his front hip has been opening too early on his swing, making him feel uncomfortable at the plate.

“I know how to get out of it,” he said. “I’m confident in my talent and my ability and my preparation and work ethic. It’s not the way I want to start, and I definitely feel like I’ve got some work to do as far adjustments, but it’s something I’m capable of doing.”

With Lance Berkman out of the lineup for perhaps another week, Pence has been hitting in Berkman’s No. 3 spot in the batting. It’s a spot that comes with a lot of responsibility and a lot of pressure, especially when Lee isn’t doing much with the bat in the No. 4 spot. Pence insists he’s not pressing because Berkman is out.

“I think for me, the only pressing would be to get going,” he said. “When it starts to avalanche on you, you start pressing to try to get a hit and do too much or too little and over think things. You think you have a heavy bat, so I really have to clear my mind and get back to the drawing board.”

3 Comments

It’s off topic and not your area of expertise, but is there a reason that there is no longer a link to your blog on the main homepage? I have to go to the headlines page to get the link to both yours and Alyson’s blog. Also, since I am already talking about it, is there anyway the blogs could be added to the mobile site?

Thanks for the hard work!

I agree, I believe his work ethic is excellent. That being said, the man needs to stifle the happy feet! He could be a co-star in “Happy Feet – The Sequel” should they decide to make one (let’s hope not). Anchor the right leg, use the left leg as a timing device if needed, but when the pitcher starts his windup, that shouldnt be his cue to become the next contestant on Dancing with the Stars! Additinally, anchoring that right/back leg might just help with his tendency to chase that slider bending outside off the plate. Course, I am not a coach nor pretending to be one, just making some friendly observations!

The problem to me is Sean Berry. I didn’t like it when they hired him and i thought he should’ve been the first one fired last season. None of the Astros talk good of him. I’ve even read where they have sought other coaches to help them. Can you tell us why he is still here?

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