Results tagged ‘ Starlin Castro ’
The Cubs miss David DeJesus at the top of the lineup. So, looking ahead to next season, who might be the Cubs’ leadoff man? It could be Starlin Castro.
“He could be that guy,” manager Dale Sveum said Thursday. “That’s where he seems to hit the best. Look throughout all of baseball. It’s not the easiest thing to find is a bonafide leadoff guy.”
Castro most likely would have to bat .300 to have the on-base percentage needed to fill that spot.
“The way he’s been hitting lately, I think he’s learned a lot where he could hit at the top of the order,” Sveum said.
This season has been a struggle for Castro, who was began with a career .297 average, but was batting .241 with nine home runs, 30 doubles and 39 RBIs entering Thursday’s game.
“Offensively, he’s had his toughest year,” Sveum said of the shortstop. “The adversity and how to deal with that is another learning experience in the big leagues. The one thing we know about this game is it’s a humbling game and how you get through that is basically it.
Travis Wood served up two home runs, including a three-run shot to pitcher Henderson Alvarez, as the Marlins beat the Cubs, 4-3, on Monday. Wood was making his 28th start, a career high, and gave up four runs over seven innings. The Cubs scored all of their runs in the first and that was it. Starlin Castro, Luis Valbuena and Anthony Rizzo hit consecutive singles in the Chicago first against Alvarez, tying the game when Castro scored on Rizzo’s hit. Dioner Navarro followed with another RBI single and Nate Schierholtz added a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead. Alvarez had to leave the game because of tightness in his hamstring.
Wood missed in his bid for his 22nd quality start. The last Cubs left-hander to reach that figure was Ken Holtzman, who totaled 25 in 1970. Since 1921, Dick Ellsworth’s 29 quality starts in 1963 pace Cubs lefties.
The Cubs now have lost 18 of their last 23 home games, and are 5-15 in one-run games at Wrigley Field. Chicago has not won three in a row at home since a four-game streak, July 6-9.
* On Sunday, the Cubs look to win two-straight home games for the first time since taking three in a row, July 6-9 vs. the Pirates and Angels.
* Starlin Castro has recorded multi-hit efforts in three of his last four games, and has four extra-base hits in his last two games (three doubles, one home run) after recording just two extra-base hits in his first 26 August contests.
* The Cubs have averaged 5.3 runs in their last six home games (32 runs total) after scoring 12 runs in their previous eight home games, Aug. 3-18, including five shutout losses.
* Anthony Rizzo (21 homers) and Nate Schierholtz (20) form one of three left-handed hitting duos with 20 home runs apiece this season, joining the Reds’ Jay Bruce (26) and Joey Votto (20), and the Mariners’ Raul Ibanez (25) and Kyle Seager (21).
The Cubs previously had two left-handed 20-home run hitters in a season 40 years ago when Rick Monday (26) and Billy Williams (20) did so in 1973. Prior to that, it hadn’t happened since 1962 when Williams and George Altman had 22 home runs apiece.
Starlin Castro smacked his first home run in a month Saturday, hitting a tie-breaking shot leading off the sixth, and Cole Gillespie drove in two runs to lift the Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the Phillies for just their fourth win in the last 21 home games. The Cubs evened the series at Wrigley Field in front of 36,410, and spoiled Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandberg’s bid for a sweep against his former team.
It was a see-saw battle. Kevin Frandsen hit a solo home run in the Phillies’ fifth, but the Cubs tied it in the second on Welington Castillo’s RBI single. In the Phillies’ third, Chase Utley hit a grounder to Donnie Murphy, but Anthony Rizzo closed his glove before catching the ball for an error. Utley then stole second, and Carlos Ruiz followed with a RBI double. Cubs starter Chris Rusin took a deep breath. He should’ve been out of the inning after throwing eight pitches but instead needed 16 more pitches to finish.
The Cubs got some payback in their half. With two outs in the third, Murphy was safe on an error by Michael Young, Junior Lake singled, and Murphy scored on Castillo’s single. Young hit a RBI triple in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead but the Cubs loaded the bases and tied the game on Cole Gillespie’s sacrifice fly.
Castro connected on a 1-0 pitch from Zach Miner leading off the sixth for his eighth homer of the season, and first since July 31. The Cubs now have hit 89 home runs at Wrigley, second-most by a team at home in the Majors behind the Orioles, who have 94.
– Carrie Muskat
Dale Sveum decided Starlin Castro had been punished enough by being taken out of Saturday’s game, so he put the shortstop in the starting lineup on Sunday.
“The way I look at it is obviously, he had enough punishment, if that’s the right word or not, but I think to be embarrassed on national TV and what’s been written in the paper today, I think that’s plenty enough,” Sveum said Sunday. “These kind of things happen from time to time, they’re getting less and less. I don’t think this kid can get better by not playing today and understanding the adversity that we all go through in the game.”
Sveum said every player has one year they’d like to forget. This is probably that year for Castro. Now it’s time to move on.
“I don’t think you get better by sitting around and not doing anything,” Sveum said. “He knows. He was obviously very remorseful and knows what happened. He’s a guy who’s got to perform for us and be a championship player when we get to that stage in the organization.”
Sveum said Castro was remorseful when they talked both Saturday and Sunday.
“He’s a smart kid and the one thing, I don’t want the public or anyone to think this kid is by any means a bad kid,” Sveum said. “He’s a great human being and a great kid and tries to do the best he can. We’ve got to get that out of him somehow.”
– Carrie Muskat
Starlin Castro was in the Cubs’ starting lineup Sunday for the series finale against the Cardinals, one day after being benched for a mental gaffe that cost the team a run. Ironically, Saturday’s game marked a career-high 25 straight games at shortstop without an error for Castro. His previous career mark of 24-straight errorless at shortstop was July 14-Aug. 9, 2011. Dale Sveum said Castro was remorseful after the mistake.
Here’s the lineup:
E. Jackson P
Dale Sveum said he wanted to think about whether or not Starlin Castro will play in Sunday’s series finale against the Cardinals after the shortstop’s mental gaffe cost the team a run in a 4-0 loss.
The Cardinals led, 1-0, when they loaded the bases with one out in the fifth against Travis Wood. Matt Carpenter hit a popup to Castro in shallow left, and third-base umpire Ron Kulpa invoked the infield-fly rule. Castro caught the ball, and seemed unaware of Jon Jay, who was at third, who broke for home and scored on the sacrifice fly. Castro eventually did throw home, but it was too late.
“I knew the outs and everything, but I put my head down and made a mental mistake,” Castro said. “I don’t want to make any excuses for that. It’s my mistake and that’s why I paid for that, that’s why I came out of the game. I feel really, really bad that it happened, especially with Woody pitching good. I have to pay for that. That’s a mistake that can’t happen in the game.”
Left fielder Junior Lake was yelling at Castro to “Be careful.” Give Jay credit for heads-up baserunning.
“I know the wind can be tricky here, and I saw him make the catch, put his head down, and that’s when I took off,” Jay said. “I took a couple steps and then decided to take a gamble and it worked out.”
Sveum met Castro in the dugout as soon as the inning ended and told the shortstop he was done for the day. Castro was replaced defensively in the sixth, as Donnie Murphy moved from third to shortstop and Cody Ransom entered at third. Castro watched the rest of the game from the dugout.
“The situation is obviously we had a big blunder there and he lost track of what was going on for whatever reason and I pulled him out of the game,” said Sveum, who had never penalized a player like that in his managerial career.
Did Castro offer an explanation?
“There is no explanation,” Sveum said. “A guy caught a ball, a popup, and the [baserunner] should’ve stayed at third base. That’s the bottom line.”
As to whether Castro will play Sunday in the series finale, Sveum said, “I haven’t gotten that far yet.”
It’s been a tough season for Castro, a two-time All-Star, who began the year with a .297 career batting average in the big leagues. He is hitting .244 this year, and is 0-for-16 in his last five games — including two at-bats on Saturday.
“It’s bad,” Castro said, when asked to describe his season. “It’s an unbelievable year, especially for me. I’ve never had a year like that. I feel really bad, especially with that mistake. Today, and my struggles at home plate [hitting], it’s really tough. I don’t put my head down. I know I can be good and finish strong.”
Did he expect to start Sunday?
“Yeah, for sure,” Castro said. “I want to be there, and give 100 percent. I know that kind of thing can’t happen again.”
Said Sveum: “There are only so many meetings, and so many things you can say. When you’ve played this much baseball, it gets to the point where you have to do it yourself.”
– Carrie Muskat
Starlin Castro’s brain cramp cost him playing time on Saturday. Castro made a mental gaffe on a pop-up in the fifth that allowed the Cardinals to score a run. The Cardinals led 1-0 when they loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. Matt Carpenter hit a pop up to Castro in shallow left, and third base umpire Ron Kulpa signaled infield fly. Castro caught the ball, and seemed unaware of Jon Jay, who was at third, and who broke for home, scoring on the sacrifice fly. Castro finally threw home, but it was too late.
Dale Sveum met with Castro in the dugout as he came off the field, and told the shortstop he was out of the game. Donnie Murphy moved from third base to shortstop for the Cubs, and Cody Ransom entered at third in the sixth.
– Carrie Muskat
Junior Lake, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney are all sitting Wednesday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Reds. Starter Chris Rusin is ready. He tweeted today: “It’s wins day! Haaa #daygame”
Here’s the lineup:
* After going 6-4 in their first 10 games after the All-Star break, the Cubs have gone 4-12 in their last 16 games. The Cubs had a 3.44 ERA in the first 10 games of the “second half” but have a 4.72 ERA in their last 16 games. Also, they’ve batted .227 in their first 10 games after the break and hit .231 in their last 16 games.
– Carrie Muskat
Apparently, Edwin Jackson doesn’t mind a little rain. Anthony Rizzo belted a two-run home run, Starlin Castro added a solo shot and David DeJesus drove in three runs to back Jackson, who continued his second-half resurgence, and lift the Cubs to a 6-1 victory Wednesday night over the Brewers, and avoid a sweep.
Rain stopped play with two outs in the Brewers’ sixth, but Jackson returned after the 1 hour 6 minute delay. The Cubs were going to let the right-hander continue if he was on the mound within one hour. Jackson just made it. He was back on the mound in 55 minutes from when the game was stopped. What did he do during the break?
“I listened to music, rode the bike, and just sat and waited and hoped it didn’t go past 10 [p.m.] because I would’ve been done,” Jackson said. “I just tried to stay loose any way you can and stay relaxed, but still focused at the same time.”
He recalled a game against the Tigers once when he had to wait an hour because of rain, yet still finished the game. This isn’t the first time nature has messed up one of Jackson’s starts. One of his best outings was May 28 against the White Sox, when rained postponed the game after 3 1/3 innings.
“I’m the rain man,” Jackson said. “I’m the designated rain man. It seems like mostly every start we’ve had that’s been rained out has been on my day. I don’t know, maybe a black cloud is trying to follow me.”
There’s a silver lining. The right-hander won for the fourth time in his last six starts, scattering eight hits, including a RBI double by Jonathan Lucroy in the eighth, over eight innings. He completed five July starts with a 1.83 ERA (seven earned runs over 34 1/3 innings).
“His fastball, since the fourth or fifth start of the year, he’s creating a lot of ground balls and getting late action,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He’s got a ratio of ground ball to fly ball like a power type sinker guy now. It’s 2-to-1, and it’s off the charts for a guy like Derek Lowe and Kevin Brown and [Jake] Peavy who make their living on ground balls. At the beginning of the year, every ground ball he gave up found a hole, and now they’re going at people.”
– Carrie Muskat