Welington Castillo started at catcher on Friday so Geovany Soto could get an extra day off. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he wanted Castillo to face a left-handed pitcher in hopes of getting him on track offensively. Castillo was 0-for-11 entering Friday.
What does he need to see from Castillo?
"We know what we've got," Sveum said. "We've got a guy who can be an everyday catcher because of his arm, because of the way he handles pitchers. He receives the ball, he blocks everything. He's got everything as a catcher. You have to find him time. You don't want a guy developing in the big leagues playing once a week either."
Cubs starting pitchers have gone seven innings and given up one run or none in the last three games for the first time since Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden did so, July 29-31, 2008. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Cubs starters did that well in four straight games was July 29-31, 1984, when Steve Trout, Scott Sanderson, Dennis Eckersley and Rich Bordi accomplished the feat.
The players have recovered from the flu bug that ran through the clubhouse, but now the coaches are ill. Pitching coach Chris Bosio and bench coach Jamie Quirk were battling the illness.
Monday's Cubs-Cardinals game in St. Louis will begin at 6:05 p.m. CT to accomodate ESPN's broadcast.