Sunday brunch blog: Castro back in there

Sunday brunch blog: Castro back in there

Posted by Bruce on Sun, 08/18/2013 - 13:10

The big question of the day was answered earlier when manager Dale Sveum put Starlin Castro into today’s starting lineup against the Cardinals. Sveum pulled Castro from Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Cardinals because of inattentive play. Castro allowed a run to score on a pop fly to left field. He put his head down after making the catch, and baserunner Jon Jay scored from third base.

“The way I look at it is obviously, enough punishment, if that’s the right word or not, ‘punishment,’ but I think to be embarrassed and to be on national TV and what’s written in the paper today, that’s plenty enough,” Sveum said. “These kinds of things happen time to time, and they’re getting less and less. I don’t think this kid can get better by not playing today and understanding the adversity we all go through in the game. Obviously, we all know his struggles at the plate this year, as well.”

Castro is 0-for-16 on the homestand, and he has a hitting line of .244/.278/.345.

“If thing continue, it’s going to be a year obviously you want to look back and on and want to get rid of like all of us in our careers,” Sveum said. “We all have a year that, ‘That year was awful.’ But I don’t think you get better by just sitting around and not doing anything. He knows. He was obviously very remorseful and knows what happened. He’s a guy that’s got to perform for and be a championship player when we get to that stage.”

Sveum also praised Castro for taking responsibility for the gaffe.

“He's manned up and takes the responsibility and does a lot of things,” the manager said. “But obviously we need those things to come to a stop as well as he does. He's a smart kid and the one thing I don't want the public or anyone to think this kid's by any means a bad kid to where we know some people in the past are bad people and all that. This guy's a great human being, a great kid and tries to do the best he can. We've got to get that out of him.”

The Cubs and Edwin Jackson take on Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals today. Wrigley Field continues to be unfriendly to the home team. The Cubs have dropped 12 of their last 14 games at home and have been shut out in five of their last seven here.

At the plate, the Cubs are 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position over the first five games of the homestand. The Cubs’ .222 batting average with runners in scoring position is the lowest in the major leagues. The Pirates are second to the bottom, at .226.

This is the 10th straight game in which the Cubs have faced a right-handed pitcher. The Washington Nationals come to town Monday, and they’re scheduled to throw four righties, including Stephen Strasburg on Thursday against Travis Wood.

MINOR-LEAGUE ROUNDUP

Class AAA Iowa lost its third straight Saturday, falling 3-0 to New Orleans. Iowa is last in the league with a 20-45 road record and has lost 15 of its last 17 road contests. This stretch includes a 12-game losing streak that tied a franchise record set in 1975.

The I-Cubs have been shut out a league-high 14 times this season, matching the franchise record (1972, 1990) for most shutout losses in a season.

Iowa has gone 17 straight innings without scoring a run. The team’s season high for consecutive scoreless innings on offense is 19, set June 22-24 at Memphis.

Justin Grimm was the loser Saturday as he worked 7 innings and gave up 4 hits and 3 runs while walking none and striking out eight. He is 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA. Zach Rosscup struck out the side in the eighth inning. He has not allowed a run in his first games up with Iowa, covering 3.2 innings.

Ty Wright was 2-for-4. Jae-Hoon Ha was 1-for-4, and he has hit safely in 18 of 19.

Class AA Tennessee lost 6-4 to Chattanooga. Northwestern’s Eric Jokisch worked 6.1 innings and gave up 6 hits and 4 runs, 3 earned. He walked one and struck out five in falling to 10-11 with a 3.50 ERA.

Javier Baez (1-for-3), Justin Bour (2-for-4) and Jonathan Mota (1-for-1) each extended their hitting streaks to seven games each. Baez is 11-for-25 (.440) during the streak.

Class A Daytona fell 10-2 to Brevard County, which hit 6 doubles. Ivan Pineyro took the loss as he worked 5 innings and gave up 8 hits and 6 runs. Pineyro is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA. Kris Bryant posted his third straight multihit game, going 2-for-5 with a double and 1 RBI. He has hit safely in five of his first six games at Daytona and his batting .364. Pin-Chieh was 2-for-4 with a walk. Dan Vogelbach reached three times, going 1-for-3 with 2 walks.

The Kane County Cougars (A) beat Clinton 7-6 with 3 in the seventh. Michael Heesch got no decision, pitching 6 innings and giving up 6 hits and 3 runs. Oliver Zapata and Giuseppe Papaccio each had 2 hits. Rock Shoulders was 2-for-3 with 2 walks.

Boise (A) had its four-game winning streak snapped in an 11-0 loss to Tri-City. Michael Wagner took the loss, pitching 3 innings and giving up 6 hits and 3 runs. He is 0-2 with a 4.41 ERA. Carlos Penalver was 2-for-3 with a steal. Lance Rymel extended a hit streak to five games, going 1-for-3.

Mesa (Rookie) beat the Reds 9-7. Erick Leal, obtained from the Diamondbacks in the Tony Campana trade, pitched 5 innings and gave up 5 hits and 3 runs. He walked one and struck out six in getting a no-decision.

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