But Hunter took his inability to avoid contact to a new extreme during the Rangers' 4-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday night.
It wasn't until Hunter's 79th pitch of the night — a first-pitch fastball to Nate Schierholtz(notes) with two outs in the fourth inning — that Hunter recorded his first swing and miss of the evening. Two pitches later, Schierholtz would swing over a curve ball, giving Hunter his second and final whiff of the evening.
"I felt like I had pretty good stuff," Hunter told MLB Network reporter Hazel Mae after the game. "It's kinda at one of those points where you just tip your cap. They fought some good pitches off tonight, and when they put them in play they, you know, they put them in play."
Yes, the Giants did and they do deserve credit for another clutch-hitting performance.
But it's no surprise that they swung so well against Hunter. My own research shows that a solid 90 percent of Hunter's pitches were struck very hard. Also, Hunter owned the fifth-highest contact rate in the AL this year, ranking just behind Nick Blackburn(notes), Doug Fister(notes), Brad Bergesen(notes) and Ryan Rowland-Smith(notes).
If not for a few fine defensive plays, especially this beauty by Josh Hamilton(notes) in the second inning, the methodical, patient and efficient Giants offense would have put Game 4 comfortably out of reach very early.