05/12/12 1:25 PM ET
Castillo still developing behind the plate
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
"I think 'Welly' will say it wasn't one of his better games to receive the ball," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said on Saturday. "Sometimes you do struggle with certain pitchers and you lose concentration. He's still developing into what [coach Mike] Borzello wants him to do, so I think he kind of reverts back sometimes, maybe when the game starts speeding up and you've had to catch 200 pitches.
"We got a grip on it, and he knows what he was doing, and we know what he was doing," Sveum said of Castillo. "It's not a big concern. It's a little more of getting comfortable and doing what's called a quarter-turn with the hand, and do it on a consistent basis."
Sveum compared it to a hitter who is constantly working on his mechanics in the cage, then reverts back to bad habits when he gets in the batter's box.
"We have to stay on him to make sure he doesn't revert back to old habits," Sveum said. "Sometimes in the course of the game, it speeds up and you're worried about calling the game, and you revert back to what's comfortable for you, and it's not necessarily the right thing."
Johnson was Friday's next pitching option
MILWAUKEE -- If Friday's game had gone any longer, Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson would've been called on to pitch. Manager Dale Sveum used all of his relievers in the 13-inning marathon against the Brewers.
Johnson didn't know that until Saturday morning.
"I was thinking about it, actually, because of that game the other night with the Red Sox and Orioles," he said of the 18-inning game in which two position players were called on to pitch.
"All the pressure is on the hitter at that point," Johnson said Saturday. "I hate facing position players. It's a lose-lose situation. You're supposed to get a hit."
When was the last time Johnson, 35, actually pitched?
"A long time," he said. "I couldn't really tell you."
He guessed the last time he took the mound was for Temecula Valley High School in California. That is a long time ago.
"Position players always think they can pitch, and pitchers always think they can hit, and it usually doesn't work out," Johnson said. "I probably would've featured some different arm angles, but I wouldn't really realize I was doing it. I'd release the ball from a different spot every time, probably throw a curveball.
"Actually, in those situations, you just want to throw strikes, to tell you the truth, and try to get out of it," he said.
And his velocity?
"I don't know if I want to find out," Johnson said. "We'll just say I throw mid-90s."
On Saturday, he said he'd be prepared if needed.
"Maybe I'll go down to the bullpen and throw a side," he said.
Most of the bullpen available on Saturday
MILWAUKEE -- The Cubs used all of their relievers in Friday's 13-inning game against the Brewers, but only Kerry Wood and Rafael Dolis were unavailable on Saturday in the second game of the series.
"We're not beat up all that bad," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
There were 466 pitches thrown (235 by eight Cubs pitchers, 231 by eight Brewers pitchers). Dolis threw a season-high 41 pitches; his previous high was 39 in his second appearance of the season on April 10 against the Brewers. Wood matched his season high with 25 pitches.
"One way or another, [Chris] Volstad will probably get his 100 pitches in," Sveum said of Saturday's starter.
The Cubs were one walk shy of tying the franchise record for most issued in a game (15), which was set on May 15, 1962, against the Mets.
"On both sides, it wasn't the prettiest pitched game by no means," Sveum said. "There was not a lot of fastball command in that game."
Wood did pitch two innings, which was a season high, and also was needed to bat in the 12th, which was his first at-bat since Sept. 23, 2007. He struck out.
"He did throw two innings, but he only threw 25 pitches after walking the first two guys," Sveum said. "He didn't get completely too extended and had a real quick second inning. Probably his swings took more out of him than the outing."
MILWAUKEE -- Keep an eye on Darwin Barney's stats, starting Friday. The Cubs second baseman started using Bryan LaHair's bats in that game against the Brewers and had two hits, including a triple.
LaHair said he hates to lend his bats because hitters instantly favor them. They're made of yellow birch, which is a very hard wood. Last year was the first season LaHair used them, and he belted 38 home runs at Triple-A Iowa, winning the Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player Award.
Barney wasn't sure if it was the bat or the banana with peanut butter that he ate during Friday's 13-inning game that helped him with the triple in the seventh. That's what happens in extra innings.
"I was hungry," Barney said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.