On-Base Perception

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Wheeler calls talk of hitting Pence on purpose 'just dumb'

Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during a spring

Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during a spring training workout at Tradition Field. (February 15, 2013) (Credit: Alejandra Villa)

Giants manager Bruce Bochy told KNBR radio he thought that Zack Wheeler’s plunking of Hunter Pence on Sunday appeared to be a “cheap shot.” But the Mets righthander called the notion of any intent behind the pitch “just dumb.”

“They were up 3-2 in the third and I obviously didn't have my stuff,” Wheeler told Newsday. “That's the last thing I would want to do is hit him right there and put him on base to lead off the inning. He's a threat on the bases, so no, I didn't do it on purpose.”

Pence was clearly upset when he took Wheeler’s 94 mph fastball to the ribs, one pitch after he took a wild swing on a 2-0 offering.

“They think I did it because of his 2-0 swing he took,” Wheeler said of Pence. “If that swing did bother me, which it didn’t, I wouldn't hit him. I would laugh and try and strike him out.”

Wheeler, a former Giants farmhand, insisted he had “no reason” to throw at Pence.

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