ESPN’s Passan: Luis Castillo doing what Mariners got him to do
Anyone who watched the Mariners’ epic 1-0 win over the New York Yankees in 13 innings on Tuesday night is not soon to forget that. And that includes ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan.
When Passan joined The Mike Salk Show for his weekly Wednesday visit on Seattle Sports, he had a lot to say about that game, but the biggest praise was reserved for the man who started it all for the Mariners: Luis Castillo.
Making his T-Mobile Park debut and just his second start since the Mariners sent a huge haul of prospects to the Cincinnati Reds for the All-Star pitcher, Castillo dominated the Yankees lineup for what turned out to be a little over half of a game where Seattle’s pitching staff outdueled one of baseball’s best teams. Castillo went eight scoreless innings, striking out seven while allowing just three hits and two walks. He also threw 110 pitches and remained in the game to escape a jam in the eighth where New York put two runners on with one out.
“This is very simply what he was brought to Seattle to do,” Passan said.
What Castillo did Tuesday night was give the Mariners the chance to win a game on a night when their offense faced dominant, postseason-ready pitching itself. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole went seven scoreless innings before handing the ball off to the New York bullpen, which kept Seattle off the board for another five innings before Luis Torrens’ pinch-hit, walkoff RBI single in the 13th.
“I mean, it’s very simple – he started against a $324 million pitcher who’s regarded as one of the best in all of Major League Baseball, and he went pitch for pitch with him,” Passan said of Castillo. “And he didn’t just go pitch for pitch with him, but I think you can argue that Luis Castillo might have been better than Gerrit Cole was. Not many pitchers in the world have the stuff or the moxie or the competitiveness to go out there and do that.”
And then there’s the Mariners’ bullpen, which followed up Castillo’s incredible outing with five more scoreless frames.
“I think (Mariners manager) Scott Servais does a really good job of running that bullpen,” Passan said. “And I’m not going to give the club too much credit here for creating relievers because that takes away from what the pitchers do… (but) you have this bullpen filled with guys who just frankly aren’t very big names and are going out there and carving the Yankees.”
You can listen to the full conversation between Passan and Mike Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player below.