Struggling Castro gets night off, ending NL’s longest consecutive games streak
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org June 25, 2013 7:59PM
Updated: June 25, 2013 10:11PM
MILWAUKEE – A deepening slump that has begun to spill over into the field led to shortstop Starlin Castro finally getting that mental day off Tuesday that manager Dale Sveum had been considering for weeks.
Castro, a two-time All-Star, is just 11-for-34 (.131) in 21 games this month, with 22 strikeouts and just three walks as his season average has dipped to a post-opening-week low of .228 as the Cubs opened a three-game series in Milwaukee.
Seven of his 14 errors this season came in his last 11 games – after an 18-game errorless streak.
“I think sometimes you end up looking in somebody’s eyes just to see what it is,” Sveum said. “I told him just take this day and just watch the game and try to basically think about tomorrow as a whole ‘nother season and not try to hit .300 tomorrow. It’s not going to happen. You can’t try and get four hits every at-bat and think you’re going to get your average back up there.
“There’s plenty of time for that; there’s three months left in the season.”
It ends the longest active consecutive games streak in the National League at a modest 269 (second in the majors to Detroit’s Prince Fielder, with 418 through Monday).
The streak was a non-factor in the decision, Sveum said. “Nobody’s getting to Ripken anyway.”
One factor in the decision to sit him Tuesday was the fact Sveum didn’t want to do it at home, he said.
“I don’t really like giving any core players a day off at home,” he said, “People spend a lot of money to see their favorite player.”
Picking day on the other side of an off day also had the effect of giving Castro a two-day breather.
Cody Ransom played short Tuesday, batting eighth.