So it's no surprise to anybody who watches him on a daily basis, then, that his athletic exuberance nearly created an unusual situation in the Giants' 5-4 win over the Phillies at AT&T Park on Thursday. In the bottom of the fifth, Jarrett Parker lined a double to center, prompting Pence and Denard Span to get on their proverbial horses and head for the plate.
The problem? Pence ran really, really hard, and came extremely close to passing Span between third and home. Span looked back and cracked a smile as he crossed the plate:
"I just knew that he was right on my heels," said Span to MLB.com's Jonathan Hawthorne after the game. "That's Hunter being Hunter … I didn't hear him. I just felt him. I was just running as fast as I could. In my defense, he had a running start. That was fun. Never had anybody chase me like that before on the bases."
And Pence: "It's just one of those fun plays that was kind of weird, but it worked out … I was yelling at him to go. And he went. He was like coming back, and I was like, 'You gotta go.' Just trying to time it as close as I could behind him to try and score."
Said manager Bruce Bochy: "He [Pence] had that ball read very well. He was on Span's heels. I was kidding Span about it, too. About Pence climbing up his back there."
From a near disaster to a moment of teammate bonding ... could have been worse.