Starlin Castro had a big night last night amidst the frustrating loss, and I thought we should give it, and Castro, some love:
- The two homers last night marked the first two-homer game of his big league career.
- The three hits marked his first three-hit game since, well, Saturday. But before that, you have to go all the way back to … the third to the last game of 2013. Ok, so that’s not far, either. Before that, you have go back to early August. Ok, let’s just move on.
- The three hits raised Castro’s batting average from a oh-no-2013-repeat .240 to a oh-my-God-he’s-back .310.
- The two homers (and the single) nearly doubled his slugging from .280 to .552. I love early season numbers.
- Castro’s ascending OPS since Friday: .284, .511, .549, .885.
- Castro now leads the Cubs in homers and RBI, and trails only Emilio Bonifacio in OPS (1.131).
- The last time Castro’s OPS was this high was the first day of the 2013 season, when he went 2-4 with a couple singles. It fell quickly from there. In 2012, Castro’s OPS hovered in the high 800s for much of April, before steadily falling into the mid-700 range. I can’t say I would absolutely hate a .280/.325/.425 line from Castro this year, especially if it came with steps forward defensively. That’s an above-average bat playing shortstop.
- Castro collected his 700th (and 701st) hit last night, and he just turned 24. At 200 hits per year, he needs to play only until he’s 42 to break Pete Rose’s hit record. Piece of cake.