7/15 Castro's good luck charm
The Cubs’ biggest run Thursday came in the second without the benefit of a hit. Rookie Starlin Castro tripled with one out and stole home on a suicide squeeze as Ryan Dempster squared to bunt. Phillies starter Jamie Moyer bounced the pitch in and it got away from catcher Carlos Ruiz long enough for Castro to score to go ahead, 3-2. He’s the first Cubs player to record a straight steal of home since April 13, 1996, when Brian McRae did so in first inning at San Francisco.
Lou Piniella admitted he’s never called for a suicide that early in a game.
“It wasn’t a hunch,” he said. “We figured we’d try a few things different. No, I never have [called it in the second]. Hopefully, I never will again.”
Dempster is a good bunter but Moyer didn’t give him a good pitch to hit.
“It’s hard to bunt a ball out of the batter’s box that bounces in,” Dempster said. “I need to take a page out of Vladimir Guerrero’s book. I tried to throw my bat at it and hopefuly hit it and it was nowhere to be seen. Good job by Castro.”
As for Castro, he missed hitting for the cycle by a home run as he also singled in the sixth and doubled in the seventh. The 20-year-old shortstop’s parents, sister and brother are in town from the Dominican Republic, arriving after the All-Star break. They may stay for the entire season if he gets three hits a game.
“They bring good luck,” Castro said.
— Carrie Muskat