I went to visit my parents at their home in Springfield a few weeks ago, and I spent some time talking baseball with my brother. he was nothing short of fed up with Starlin Castro, to the point of wanting him traded away for whatever could be had for him.
I told him that this would be a mistake. Yes, Castro is maddeningly inconsistent and inattentive at times, but his talent is undeniable. He and Anthony Rizzo kept the franchise afloat in recent years, and letting him go would feel wrong, on some level.
The benching of Castro came a few days after this conversation, and he has responded magnificently. The win over the Cardinals Friday at Wrigley Field is entirely on his shoulders. The win at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night is largely on him, as well, because if Ramirez’ ground ball in the ninth inning gets through to the outfield, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Pirates don’t win that game. That’s two huge wins, which have put the Cubs on the doorstep of catching up to the Pirates.
Starlin Castro has earned the right to be a part of whatever is going to happen this October in Chicago. I’m looking forward to finding out exactly what that will be, like every other Cubs fan, and am happy to see his familiar number 13 in the midst of the celebrations.
Here’s hoping that we get another win against the Cardinals today. And Pittsburgh has to beat Clayton Kershaw at home tonight, too. It’s good times for us Cubs fans.