Pena doing his best to stay patient
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org April 19, 2011 11:00PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
First baseman Carlos Pena still is waiting to hit his first home run for the Cubs, but he was just as happy with the surprise bunt single he put down Monday against the San Diego Padres’ defensive shift.
‘‘I don’t know if it’s a secret weapon, but at least they’ll have it on their minds that it’s a possibility,’’ Pena said Tuesday. ‘‘It’s not as easy as it looks, and I have a lot of respect for the guys who can do it.
‘‘Mine doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it past the pitcher. I was starting the [seventh] inning, no outs, the wind blowing in — I thought it was the right play.’’
The Padres took away their shift the next time Pena batted, but the wind robbed him of a homer to right.
‘‘The wind can be devastating,’’ Pena said of learning the ways of Wrigley Field. ‘‘I crushed two balls I know would have been homers, but I got a bunt single.’’
Pena is hitting only .214, ‘‘but I have to remind myself I’m making contact,’’ he said. ‘‘I have to be careful with the way I look at things and the way I judge myself. I know I’m swinging pretty well, even if the numbers aren’t saying so. I’ll get the reward later.’’
In Garza’s corner
Pena played with pitcher Matt Garza long enough with the Tampa Bay Rays to believe his early struggles with the Cubs will pass.
‘‘One day you come out and things go your way, and another they don’t,’’ Pena said of Garza’s 0-2 record and 6.27 ERA. ‘‘You have to stay your course. I know by the end of the year they’ll be happy with him. We have to be smart and keep doing what we do. I’d still invest in his stuff.’’
Tickets to the game that was postponed Tuesday will be honored for the makeup game at 6:05 tonight. Gates will open at 5:05 p.m. or after the park is cleared from the regularly scheduled game at 1:20 p.m.
Bobblehead dolls of Tyler Colvin that were to be given away Tuesday will be distributed tonight.