CHICAGO -- From goat to hero.
That's how Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro feels after winning Friday's game against the San Francisco Giants with a walk-off double scoring David DeJesus to break a 3-3 tie in the ninth. It was just the day before Castro struck out with the tying run on second after making a critical error earlier in the game.
"That's the part I love about this game," Castro said. "Every day is a new day. You can be a hero."
Castro also hit his first home run of the season on Friday but it was his at-bat in the ninth inning against closer Sergio Romo that was more important. On Thursday Castro swung wildly at sliders way outside the strike zone against Romo eventually striking out. He processed that at-bat and learned from it.
"Like you see, he threw me the first two pitches, sliders away," Castro recalled about Friday's key moment. "He has a pretty nasty slider. I just put in my mind the slider that comes into me I'm going to swing at. I looked for a slider, he threw me a fastball and I hit it hard."
Castro hit it to the wall in center field allowing DeJesus to jog home easily with the winning run. Learning from one at-bat to the next is as important as anything for a hitter. Seeing Romo on Thursday made the difference.
"It's an advantage just because he has so much movement on his ball," DeJesus said. "That back door slider and his fastball have sinking action on it."
And so a patient Castro waited for Romo to come to him. He might not have a walk this season but Friday proved Castro has the capacity to learn quickly.
From goat to hero, indeed.