9/23 Castro gets 200th hit in first

Starlin Castro is now in elite company. The Cubs’ 21-year-old shortstop singled to leadoff Friday’s game, hitting the second pitch from St. Louis’ Chris Carpenter for his 200th hit of the season. Castro is the youngest Cubs player ever to total 200 hits in a single season. Billy Herman had 206 hits in 1932 and Augie Galan had 203 hits in 1935, and both were 23 at the time.

Since the modern era began 111 years ago in 1900, Castro is the 10th player to reach 200 hits in a season 21-years-old or younger. He joins Alex Rodriguez (1995), Garry Templeton (1977), Vada Pinson (1959), Al Kaline (1955), Buddy Lewis (1937), Joe DiMaggio (1936), Hal Trosky (1934), Lloyd Waner (1927) and Ty Cobb (1907). Kaline is the youngest, reaching the milestone when he was 20; the others were 21.

Castro swung at the first pitch from Carpenter and fouled it off before lining the next one into center field for his milestone hit. He now has hit safely in 44 of his last 49 games since July 31.

Castro also has reached safely in 35 straight games, the longest stretch ever by a Cubs shortstop, topping the streak of 34 set by Woody English in 1929. Castro is the first Cubs player to reach safely in 35 in a row since Jerome Walton had a 43-game streak in 1989.

– Carrie Muskat

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