Ryno of the Week: I think Starlin Castro might win all 26 weeks. He's ridiculous. The one weakness in his approach at the plate is that the kid swings at everything--he's walked just thrice this year--and when you're focused solely on hitting and not OBP, a slump is bound to find you at some point. When it comes to taking his hacks at the plate, Castro makes Vlad Guerrero look like Mark Grace. Eh? Am I right? Am I right? /nudging you with elbow
Cubs Week 2 awards: A love affair with .500
The Cubs have been quite impressive with their mediocrity in the early going: through 15 games, they have yet to be more than one game removed from the .500 mark. They've fallen one game under .500 six times, crept a game above .500 twice, but have incredibly landed on the .500 mark every step of the way: 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7.
When the Cubs somehow found a way to get shut out at Coors Field on Friday--the second time this year Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin has held a team scoreless at home--they found themselves under .500 with two road games remaining against the NL's hottest team. But it seemed that Casey Coleman turned the tide, earning his first win of 2011 and the fifth of his career with 5.2 innings of one-run ball. The Cubs gave him eight runs of support, and with Opening Day starter Ryan Dempster taking on a pitcher making his major league debut Sunday, it looked like the Cubs might win a series in Colorado for the first time since 2004 and build some momentum heading into a nine-game homestand.
But Dempster struggled, again, needing 104 pitches to get through five measly innings. The Cubs scored at least one run in each of the first four innings but came to a screeching halt once the Rockies' bullpen took over. In the end, the Cubs fell to 7-8 and will face a light-hitting Padres team with the same record in a three-game set beginning tonight.
Nevertheless, Castro was a ridiculous 15-for-28 this week with seven runs and five RBI, and now leads the majors in hits with 28. He also notched the Cubs' first two stolen bases of the season last week.
Honorable mention: Aramis Ramirez, who had nine hits of his own.
Goat of the Week: It's been a bad two-plus weeks for Tyler Colvin, who has yet to get on track this season. He was just 2-for-16 this week with four strikeouts, including a flyout in the eighth yesterday in a tie game with a runner at second. Fortunately, Fukudome has been playing relatively well, but it sure would be nice to get Colvin rolling a bit--even just his power stroke if nothing else.
Dishonorable mention: James Russell, who couldn't get out of the second in his first start of the year. Quade was leaning toward starting him again on Tuesday, and now that's pretty much a sure thing after Samardzija pitched two innings of relief yesterday.