Chicago Cubs: Will Venable

Kernels: While you were sleeping

August, 3, 2014
Aug 3
8:41
PM CT
By Doug Kern
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
In case you couldn't (or didn't) stay up, our weekly look at the interesting and unusual in MLB takes us on a roundup of some late-night and late-inning happenings.

• The Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies were tied 3-3 after four innings on Tuesday. Eleven innings later, it was still 3-3. After the Cubs loaded the bases in the 16th, Starlin Castro ended things with a sacrifice fly. By inning, it was the latest sac fly in Cubs history (flies were split from bunts in 1954), and the Cubs' longest victory since a 16-inning, 1-0 win over Houston on May 31, 2003.

John Baker
Baker
Catcher John Baker pitched the top of the 16th and ended up with the win. Depending on your definition, he's on a very short list of Cubs position players to be a winning pitcher. Hal Jeffcoat won 13 games in the mid-1950s after being converted from an outfielder. In the early days, it becomes a gray area between pitchers and other positions. The Cubs' last winning "pitcher" who played more games in the field than he pitched was Jock Menefee, who in 1902 played 41 games at other positions, but pitched in 22 (winning 12). Their last not-regular pitcher to get a win while pitching in five or fewer games that season was second baseman Fred Pfeffer, who finished three games (and won one) in 1885.

At 6 hours, 27 minutes, Tuesday's was the longest game of the season, the longest in either team's history, and its 1:34 a.m. CT ending was the latest finish ever to a game at Wrigley Field (breaking the previous record from 2012 by 6 minutes).

While there have been four 16-inning games this season, we still haven't had a contest go 17. The last season without at least one was 2002.

• The San Diego Padres piled up 20 hits in Friday's win over the Atlanta Braves, the most hits recorded by any team in a nine-inning game at Petco Park. It was the Padres' highest hit total in a nine-inning home game since 1995. Tommy Medica had five of those hits, including two homers, becoming just the second player in Padres history with that line (Ryan Klesko, 2001).

The Padres took a different tack on Saturday, going to extra innings before Will Venable won the game with a bases-loaded single in the 12th. Venable has both the team's walk-off hits in the 12th or later this season (May 5); the Padres' only other player with two in a season was Chris Gomez in 1997. Venable also had a 13th-inning single in 2012 and is the first player in franchise history with three walk-off hits in the 12th or later.

• The Royals won a 1-0 game against Oakland on Friday behind Raul Ibañez's fifth-inning homer. Eleven games this year have been 1-0 via solo homer, but the Royals had not won such a game since Sept. 18, 1993 (Felix José homer vs. Seattle).

It's only the third time in history that the current Kansas City team (the Royals) has beaten the previous Kansas City team (the Athletics) by a 1-0 score. It happened in 1982 on a U.L. Washington ninth-inning single, and in 1980 when Washington scored the only run on a Willie Aikens base hit.

Hanley Ramirez ended Saturday night's game with a three-run 12th-inning homer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was the team's first walk-off homer of the year, leaving four teams (Royals, Mariners, Rangers, Nationals) without one. The Dodgers had not hit a walk-off homer against the Cubs since Pedro Guerrero's solo shot in the ninth on May 18, 1982. By inning, it was their latest three- or four-run walk-off, against any team, since Darryl Strawberry beat the Astros with a 13th-inning shot on Aug. 16, 1991.

• On Thursday the Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles engaged in a friendly game of chicken as they waited to see who wanted to score first. Finally in the top of the 13th, the Angels combined a walk and two singles into the game's only run. It was the first time the Orioles had played 12 scoreless innings to start a game since Aug. 20, 1978, also against the Angels. Don Baylor's walk-off double in the 14th was the only scoring in that game. That was also the Angels' last 1-0 win in a game of 13 or longer; they've had just one other such win in franchise history (1963).

Padres' Venable: Renteria 'a great leader'

November, 7, 2013
11/07/13
1:34
PM CT
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Rick RenteriaAP Photo/J Pat CarterRick Renteria is a teacher more than anything, says Padres outfielder Will Venable.
CHICAGO -- San Diego Padres outfielder Will Venable says the Chicago Cubs made a "great hire" in choosing former Padres bench coach Rick Renteria as their next manager.

"He's a guy that knows the game as much as anyone I've been around," Venable said via phone Thursday. "He's got a fire in him that you love having in the clubhouse ... More than anything he's a teacher. He wants you to learn the game, he wants you to play the game the right way."

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Venable has been with the Padres since 2008, the same year Renteria was promoted to major league coach. In 2011, Renteria was named bench coach.

"Sometimes it means he has to be tough on you but those are things he was willing to do for you and the team," Venable said. "He's such a great leader."

Renteria received similar praise from colleagues, including former Cubs outfielder Jacque Jones, who is a coach in the Padres' minor league system.

"He's energetic," Jones said. "He loves what he does. He's fair. The Cubs are getting a good guy to get that done over there ... You know what you're going to get and where you stand. I'm sure the players will give everything they have."

The Cubs made it known they had an interest in managerial candidates who worked well with Latin-American players, as the organization has several key Spanish-speaking players making their way through the system. Venable says the bilingual Renteria had a "good line of communication" with the Latin American players on the Padres.

"He definitely was the voice of the coaching staff for that if something had to be addressed, if some of those guys had to be taken aside," Venable said.

Jones added: "And he was good as a go-between the players and [Padres manager] Buddy [Black] and when he saw something he didn't like, he addressed it."

Jones believes Renteria's experience managing Team Mexico in the 2013 World Baseball Classic -- which included a victory over Team USA -- was good for his development.

"With his demeanor, he'll be fine," Jones said. "He handled managing for Team Mexico just fine. And I think he learned a lot under Buddy."

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Starlin Castro
BA HR RBI R
.292 14 65 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Rizzo 31
RBIA. Rizzo 73
RA. Rizzo 84
OPSA. Rizzo .898
WJ. Arrieta 9
ERAT. Wood 4.86
SOJ. Arrieta 157