Daily Grind 3.5

Spring Training Notes, former Chaminade stars shine, and Evgeni Malkin destroys a former Blue Note captain.

St Louis Cardinals v New York MetsMichael Wacha reeled off another impressive outing working 2 2/3 scoreless with three strikeouts Monday. In three appearances, Wacha has thrown 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out 11.

Wacha, 21, was the teams first round draft pick last year out of Texas A&M.

Though early (and Spring Training), Wacha has easily been the most impressive starter in camp. Yadier Molina was even quoted saying, “I think that guy, right now, can pitch in the big leagues. That’s the way I look at it. He has great stuff. He has a great presence on the mound. He has great command, a great attitude.”

The story on Wacha out of college was a big, tall, strike-throwing right-hander. If he continues this torrid pace, I see no reason he wouldn’t make the team. Pitching is a legit concern, and Wacha could stabilize the starting staff.

OH BOY, AS FOR THE OTHERS…

  • Lance Lynn — 4.1 IP 9 hits 4 earned
  • Adam Wainwright — 5.2 IP 12 hits 4 earned
  • Jake Westbrook — 1 IP 4 hits 1 earned
  • Trevor Rosenthal — 5 IP 7 hits 5 earned
  • Jaime Garcia — 5 IP 8 hits 2 earned
  • Shelby Miller — 2 IP 1 hit 1 earned

FURCAL SOUND

KTRS (550 AM) sports reporter David Solomon asked Rafael Furcal about his decision NOT to have surgery, which he shot down…

STLToday.com columnist Bernie Miklasz humorously reminisced on the countless baffling medical mishaps in recent history:

Scott Rolen’s shoulder was fine. Mark Mulder’s shoulder was fine. David Freese’s ankles were fine. Jaime Garcia’s shoulder was fine. Chris Carpenter’s elbow was fine. Lance Berkman’s knee was fine. Jon Jay’s shoulder was fine. Matt Holliday’s back was fine.

Allen Craig’s knee was fine. Brad Penny’s upper back was fine. Kyle Lohse’s forearm was fine. Troy Glaus’s shoulder was fine. Mark De Rosa’s wrist was fine. Khalil Greene’s anxiety level was fine. Kyle McClellan’s elbow was fine.

Exactly…and Furcal’s elbow was ready for the six month grind.

CCP Lovin’

Ben Bishop acknowledges the fans after being named first star of the game 2.25

Ben Bishop acknowledges the fans after being named first star of the game 2.25

Ben Bishop is getting major playing time while Ottawa’s starting goaltender, Craig Anderson is out with a sprained ankle. Bishop has played solid in relief, including a four-game win streak to end February. Aside from allowing five goals in his first start against Tampa Bay (2nd in goals/game at 3.46), Bishop has allowed 2 or less goals in his six other starts. Big Ben is 4-3-0 with a 2.15 goals against average. His .938 save percentage is 3rd in the NHL among goalies with at least three games started.

Washington Wizard’s PG Bradley Beal took a tumble Sunday against Philadelphia and is day-to-day with a sprained ankle. Beal, a rookie out of Florida, is averaging 14.2 points per game for the season. In his last 10 though, Beal is averagine 18.3 points including a career-high 29-point performance against New York.

Golden State forward and NBA All-Star David Lee has helped the Warriors compile a 33-27 record, good for 6th in the Western Conference. Lee is averaging 18.8 PPG, 11.3 rebounds/game, and 3.8 assists/game. Lee’s most recent publicity has taken a strange hit. He was suspended for a game after an altercation with Indiana’s Roy Hibbert. As you can see by the video, Lee did essentially nothing — but David Stern and Co. seemed to miss that.

Lee was recently highlighted by the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference studying interior defense in the NBA. While Lee is known as a good rebounder, his interior defense is not a strong suit. In fact, according to the research, opponents score at very high efficiencies on Lee (over 60%). Below is the graph from the linked report above.

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 12.04.06 AM

Did You See?

Evgeni Malkin took an Eric Brewer giveaway and walked the dog on three Tampa Bay players, including the goaltender in his first game back from a concussion.

Keep Grindin’ and FOLLOW @DGrindSports

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