Quade discusses defense in team meeting

Quade discusses defense in team meeting

Quade discusses defense in team meeting
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Mike Quade met with his team Wednesday to make sure his players are focused on catching the ball, not just hitting it.

"We made no errors last night -- but that's not true," Quade said of Tuesday's 6-4 loss to the Cardinals. "We've got to clean that up. You can win games a lot of ways, and I want to make sure we're not so wrapped up in trying to do a better job hitting that we're forgetting about the defensive stuff that can help us out.

"They score six runs last night, and at least two of those are gifts. [The Cardinals] are tough enough as it is that we can't allow that."

Quade was upset about a missed relay throw by shortstop Starlin Castro in the eighth and a tag that catcher Koyie Hill didn't make in the seventh. Plus, left fielder Alfonso Soriano slipped on the grass, allowing a ball to roll to the wall for a triple in the fourth.

"Soriano made two of best plays I've seen him make [earlier in the game], and then he slips and falls," Quade said.

The Cubs will live with Soriano's mistakes.

"I don't think he's going to win a Gold Glove, but I watch him work every day," Quade said. "He's doing a decent job overall and driving the ball out of the ballpark and helping us in that regard. I think he's a better left fielder now than he was three years ago. Mistakes are going to happen no matter who you are."

The Cubs are trying to reduce Castro's mistakes, although they do recognize these are part of the growing pains of dealing with a 21-year-old shortstop. The message to him is to make every play.

"There's nothing routine," Quade said. "As a young player, that's how you have to approach things. There's not a routine play. It's routine when it's over and he's out. That's the way I look at it."