Penalver Four-Hit Day Pain in the Halo for Angels
Carlos Penalver had four hits (an RBI double and three singles) and scored a run, Reggie Golden singled twice, walked, drove-in a run, and scored two more, Mark Malave belted a two-run double and scored a run, and Duane Underwood and Trey Lang combined to throw six shutout innings, leading the Cubs to a 6-1 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.
With his four hits today, Penalver is now hitting 381/422/524 with three doubles and a triple and only four strikeouts in 45 Cactus League Extended Spring Training Plate Appearances (17 games). He also leads the EXST Cubs in stolen bases with with four (no CS), and has committed only two errors (his second error coming today). The 18-year old Venezuelan was signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old for a reported $550K bonus on July 2, 2010 (the first day of the 2010 International Signing Period), and he is probably the best defensive shortstop in the organization.
Cubs catcher Wilfredo Petit left the game after being struck on the back of his left hand on a Catcher's Interference error in the top of the 8th. This was Petit's second Catcher's Interference error this Spring, and while it is a fairly rare occurrence, some catchers have more of a problem with it than do others. Catcher's Interference is when the catcher's glove interferes with the batter's swing, and it usually happens when a catcher sets up too close to the batter and/or when the catcher tries to reach forward too far to catch a breaking ball or off-speed pitch.
Petit was transported to the hospital for evaluation, but it looked like he probably has a broken hand.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
1a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 4-4 (1B, 1B+E9, 1B, 2B, R, RBI, PO)
1b. Bryant Flete, 2B: 0-1 (E-3)
2a. Danny Lockhart, 2B-DH: 1-3 (L-6 DP, 3-1, BB, 1B)
2b. Justin Marra, PH: 0-1 (6-4 FC)
3. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 2-4 (1B, 5-3, 1B, K, R)
4. Jesse Hodges, 1B: 1-3 (BB, F-8, K, 1B)
5a. Reggie Golden, DH: 2-2 (1B, 1B, BB, 2 R, RBI)
5b. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-1 (K)
6a. Xavier Batista, LF: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, P-4)
6b. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-1 (6-4-3 DP)
7. Garrett Schlecht, RF: 1-4 (F-7, P-4, 1B, F-7, R)
8. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-4 (F-9, 4-3, 2B, K, R, 2 RBI)
9a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-3 (4-3, 4-3, F-8)
9b. Lance Rymel, C: 1-1 (2B)
1. Duane Underwood: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 PO, 60 pitches (33 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
2. Trey Lang: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
3. Tyler Bremer: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 14 pitches (9 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Loiger Padron: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 10 pitches (8 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Mike Hamann: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 10 pitches (7 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: 4
1. SS Carlos Penalver - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 3B Mark Malave - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
3. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
4. C Wilfredo Petit - E-2 (Catcher's Interference allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Wilfredo Petit: 2-4 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 70's
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.