4/11 Giants 7, Cubs 6

The Cubs left Arizona just two weeks ago, and it seems as if they’ve forgotten some of the defensive drills they did in the desert. The Giants took advantage of a sloppy fourth inning Thursday to rally from a five-run deficit and post a 7-6 victory. Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run double and Angel Pagan drove in two runs, including a tie-breaking sac fly in the fifth, for San Francisco.

“You spend hours and hours on [defense] for 45 days of Spring Training and to have the lapses in the games when it counts, it costs you games, it costs you pitches, it costs you not being able to go five innings,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

The Cubs opened a 5-0 lead, and it vanished quickly. The Giants had two on and two outs when Ryan Vogelsong reached on an error by Starlin Castro, who misjudged the grounder, and tried to hurry his throw. One run scored. Pagan was safe on an infield single that Brent Lillibridge fielded cleanly, but held because starter Scott Feldman was slow to cover first base. Another run scored. After Feldman hit Brandon Crawford with a pitch, Sandoval smacked his double to pull within, 5-4.

“I feel really bad,” Castro said of his error. “It’s one of the plays I have to make. It’s a routine play. The pitcher is running. I feel really bad those things happen. You have to know the pitcher is running. You have to be ready to wait for the ball and throw.”

Castro led all Major League shortstops with 27 errors last season. He now has three in nine games this season.

“That one is basically not understanding that the pitcher hit the ball and you had plenty of time,” Sveum said of Castro’s miscue. “You didn’t have to over-charge the ball and over-cook that whole play.”

What happened with Feldman on the Pagan grounder?

“When I saw the ball was hit, I broke for the base,” said Feldman, who also was charged with an error in the first when he botched another Pagan grounder. “I was expecting the throw [in the fourth]. I haven’t looked at the replay but maybe from the angle we were positioned at, it wouldn’t have worked.”

Feldman may be taking grounders at Wrigley on Friday.

“We’ll have to get [Feldman] out early to start working on it because that ain’t acceptable,” Sveum said.

– Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

Looks like it is going to be a LONG LONG season!

We had this game until Castro’s error. From that moment on it seemed to be a sloppy slide. That was Castro’s third error already. Is he losing attention so soon? We need Barney back at 2nd badly. I think we can save this season with some better concentration. The bats are heating up – let’s shore up the weak spots.

This team will lose a 100 games. I’ve been a Cub since 1982. I really have lost interest. I was hoping my Dad might see the day. Now I know he will not.

Try not to give up yet, Greg. The Cubs are rebuilding and I think they are going in the right direction so far. Your dad may yet see the winning day! Eamus Catuli

Maybe Castro is destined for LF?? You know, where we usually put players with suspect defensive skills. At least if he is in LF he wouldn’t CONCEDE a flyball single, instead how about a radical idea and actually GET to a ball?? We may even get an April RBI or two from him! Too many balls played on the one hop out there.

I agree it’s very plausible Castro is better fitted for the outfield. Good teams do not surrender five run leads. Pagan should never have been sent away by Cubs. Have always liked his game, and said so when he was Cubs’ property.

Well said Mamma. And with that said I for one am looking forward to this young, talented kid being given an ample amount of time to improve his defense. Maybe in one or two years if he doesn’t cut his errors in half then he is destined for a trade or … ahem…. LEFT FIELD!!! HA!

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