Once again, youthful exuberance on the part of shortstop Starlin Castro extended an inning, allowing two runs to score in the fourth, which should have been just another shutdown inning for starter Randy Wells.
With Alex Rodriguez on first and nobody out, Robinson Cano hit a ball off of the plate that catcher Geovany Soto quickly picked up, throwing it to Castro in hopes of beginning a double play. Castro failed to touch second base, and both runners ended up safe.
“You talk about the eighth and ninth inning (where Yankees scored six times), I think the game was decided as much as anything in the fourth inning,” Cubs manager Mike Quade said.
The official scorer ruled Cano’s nubber a fielder’s choice, which was the correct call, but failed to give an obvious error to Castro on the play.
“Quick and greedy,” Quade described Castro’s mistake. “I know damn well he thought we were going to get a deuce there and he was all excited about it. I applaud him for wanting to do that, but we needed to make sure of the first one.”
The little things, like Castro’s non-play and leaving 10 men on base, cost the Cubs a chance at winning back-to-back series for the first time this season.
The Cubs now move eight miles south to start a three-game series with the White Sox on Monday. Carlos Zambrano pitches for the Cubs, returning to U.S. Cellular Field for the first time since his ill-fated blowup a year ago. Right-hander Gavin Floyd goes for the White Sox.