BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : Pennington Leaves Them Guessing
Angel reliever Brad Pennington admits he used to be “screen-rattling” wild, and the statistics support him--the left-hander led the Appalachian League with 14 wild pitches in 1989 and walked 121 at Class A Wausau, Wis., in 1990.
But the rumors that Pennington once walked 11 consecutive batters in a minor league game “might be a little far-fetched,” Pennington said. “But you can write it anyway.”
What does he care? It’s tough to downplay that reputation, so Pennington, 27, uses it to his advantage.
If batters think he’s a little wild, maybe they’ll be back on their heels a bit in the box.
Though Pennington’s walk totals have been high, so have his strikeouts. Pennington, who has a herky jerky motion, struck out 142 in the same season he walked 121.
“I know my walk totals are high and it’s a problem,” said Pennington, who was claimed off waivers from the Boston Red Sox last week. “But if you watch me pitch, I’m not as wild as I was before. I’m around the plate a lot more.”
As for the 11 straight walks, Pennington did set the record straight. As a member of Baltimore’s triple-A team at Rochester, he once walked 11 batters over a three-day period in the equivalent of one inning pitched.
And the legend grew.
Angel second baseman Rex Hudler Tuesday night became the 35th player in major league history to lead off two consecutive games with homers. Anderson, Baltimore’s leadoff hitter, set the record with homers to lead off four straight games April 18-21. . . . Randy Velarde started his second consecutive game at third base Tuesday night. . . . Angel reserve Jack Howell served as Damion Easley’s escort on the walk from the clubhouse to dugout for batting practice Tuesday, clearing a path for the infielder who, Monday night, collided with Hudler in the tunnel and needed three stitches to close a cut over his right eye.