Starlin Castro has been a man adrift for much of this season, about that there can be no doubt. As recently as yesterday, at least one idiot had questioned whether the Cubs shortstop would ever be able to recover, what with his head lodged in such a dark place. While one game does not a recovery make, it sure felt good to see him looking like the hitting machine of old.
It didn’t feel great in the game’s offing though, as Castro grounded weekly to third with the bases loaded and only one out in the 1st inning. You know the motion the guys in the press box were making when Willy Mays Hayes gets picked off of first base on Opening Day in Major League? Well, that’s basically what Cubs fans were feeling about Castro at that point. But the cold pricklies would soon melt away to reveal warm fuzzies beneath.
When he came up for the second time, Castro flipped a two-seamer from JA Happ out into right-center — yes, the OPPOSITE FIELD — for a double that scored Anthony Rizzo. The pull-happy shortstop then came around on a David Ross single. So not only did we have a blue moon recently, but we also saw Castro and Ross collect consecutive RBI hits.
Castro wasn’t done, either, as he lined another RBI double in the 5th, this one to left. Another harmless groundout to third in the 7th inning and strikeout looking in the 8th took a little shine off of the effort, but put a 2-for-5, 2 RBI game in a vacuum and you’re going to be really happy about it no matter who’s putting it up.
I can’t say that this performance did much to allay my fears about Castro, but I’m hoping it’ll help me slang more t-shirts. The great thing about having a lot of talent in the lineup, though, is that the one-time wunderkind doesn’t have to be an All-Star in order to help his team. As it is, he’s been little more than an anchor for them; if he can just start hitting at even a replacement level, it’ll be enough to help propel the Cubs foward.