Castro gets redemption on both sides of ball
After mental gaffe Friday, Cubs shortstop hit decisive single, made game-ending catch Saturday
MINNEAPOLIS -- Starlin Castro helped get himself back on track and in the process, picked up the Cubs.
One day after a mental gaffe contributed to a run in Chicago's 7-2 loss to Minnesota, Castro delivered a tiebreaking two-run single in the 10th on Saturday and also made a great leaping catch to end the game as the Cubs edged the Twins, 4-1.
"Every day is a new day," Castro said. "I try to keep it going, keep the head up, and try to help the team to win."
Saturday's game was tied at 1 in the Cubs' 10th when the Twins opted to intentionally walk cleanup hitter Chris Coghlan with one out to load the bases. Castro was next, and he anticipated a first-pitch fastball from the Blaine Boyer. That's what he got, and the shortstop lined it into center.
"I was ready," Castro said.
The Twins had one on and two outs in the 10th when Brian Dozier lined a ball toward left, but Castro made a leaping catch to snare the ball and end the game.
Manager Joe Maddon did talk to Castro before Saturday's game, but that was more about what happened on Friday. It's one thing to fix physical mistakes, but Maddon finds himself having to correct Castro's occasional mental lapse.
In the first inning Friday, the Twins had the bases loaded and Castro made an fielding error, which led to a run. But he compounded the mistake when he put his head down and held onto the ball, and another run scored. After the game, Castro said he was embarrassed by what happened.
"He makes mistakes on occasion, and I know he's played for a couple years, but he's still young," Maddon said Saturday of Castro, 25. "It's our responsibility as a coaching staff to attempt to coach that out of him. He's a great pupil. He listens. I can't say anything bad about him or wrong about him because he attempts to do the right things, and sometimes it doesn't turn out the right way."
There have been no discussions about moving Castro from shortstop, Maddon said. The approach now is to be patient.
"I don't give up easily," Maddon said. "I see a lot of good there. Outside of the physical mistakes he's made, I'd like to get rid of the mental, but I cannot fault his work."
Other managers have said the same regarding Castro. Maddon is hoping to be the one to make a difference.
"To be upset or angry with somebody, to me that would only come when I thought somebody didn't care, and it would require more than getting upset," Maddon said. "This guy does care and he does work. How do you get rid of them? By continuing to talk about them, address them after they've occurred. He was very accountable to it. To me, the accountability component is important because you can't get better without it."
Saturday's game certainly helped Castro's mood.
"In the first inning, when I started the game, I just put in my mind to try to make every play," Castro said. "Just be aggressive with every ball. If I make an error, I make it. If I make it, it's because I'm aggressive, not because I don't want to catch the ball.
"I know I'm good. I know I'm better than that. I just kept my focus the whole game and tried to make every play."