The .100 batting average Carlos Pena carried into Thursday night might send some players to their bag of tricks for a quick fix to end a 3-for-30 slump.
The Texas Rangers’ latest experiment at first base, though, is sticking to the script. He doesn’t see an issue with his swing, just an issue with his luck. He doesn’t want to search for something that might put him in a bigger hole.
“I have to be careful with that and not give into the desire for results or a desire to please or a desire for praise to mess around with my approach,” Pena said. “I feel really good. That’s the honest truth.”
He slid to seventh in the lineup Washington drew up Thursday against Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. Pena might sit entirely Friday against New York Mets lefty Jonathan Niese.
But Pena could very well be hitting third again Saturday and Sunday against righties Bartolo Colon and Zack Wheeler.
“I’ve had great at-bats,” Pena said. “I’ve hit balls right on the button. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the fortune factor that comes with this game.”