Well, as the old saying goes, “A win is a win.” Even though Jake Arrieta didn’t receive the victory over the New York Mets yesterday, the Cubs got the 2-1 win and that is why baseball is the team sport that it is.
So, here’s the difference between the Starlin Castro of last year and the one who takes to the field this season. Yesterday, Starlin Castro got a ninth inning home run to give the Cubs the eventual win. How good is that you might say? Well, Starlin Castro would have swung at anything or if he was out in the infield, “OH look, there’s a monarch butterfly.”
Not Starlin Castro of this year. Nosiree Bob. This one waits for pitches, communicates with other players and focuses entirely on what happens at the plate. In other words, this is the Starlin Castro the Cubs dreamed he would be.
“That was a big one,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “When he hit it, it came off his bat, and we were hoping it would get away from [the right fielder] — and it just carried enough to get out. That was a big at-bat for him, big at-bat for us.”
Or perhaps it’s Rick Renteria that’s put the change in Castro. The communication driven Renteria isn’t the laid back Morning After/Night Before looking Dale Sveum. Do you honestly think Sveum would have challenged all those calls this year?
There’s also the triple threat of Baez/Rizzo/Castro that’s sending fear into opponents that wasn’t there last year.
But wait! Could we possibly see Jake Arrieta at the All Star game next season? it might happen. Even though the Cubs would love to rest their new ace a little bit, he’s liking the challenge this brings.
“I want to make every start that I have lined up throughout the end of September,” Arrieta said. “If something comes up, I guess that will be addressed. I’d love to stay in the mix and finish out on a high note.”
Although a post season has as about as much chance as Jim Morrison walking the streets of Paris, I think the Cubs should still compete until the end of the season. I’d love to see the new kids as well, but really what difference is it going to make? The off season will be here before long and then what?
I’m predicting a .500 season for next year.