HomeTeamsMarinersLuis Castillo Struggles in Opening Day Mariners Loss 

Luis Castillo Struggles in Opening Day Mariners Loss 

The Mariners lost to the Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Opening Day. Luis Castillo got the opening day nod but struggled over 5 innings. Castillo allowed 4 runs on 6 hits with 2 walks, while striking out 5 in the loss. Castillo wasn’t at his sharpest, which was mostly seen in his fastball.  

First Inning: 

Castillo started the game pumping gas with his Fastball. In the opening inning Castillo threw Eleven 4 Seam Fastballs. He collected a swinging strikeout on a Fastball up in the zone to Devers at 97.3 mph and got Trevor Story on a Foul Tip on another 97.3mph Fastball up and away to the right-handed hitter. Castillo threw 14 pitches in the opening inning, 2 of them weren’t Fastballs. He peaked at 97.7 with his slowest Fastball at 95.6. The adrenaline was pumping for Castillo early. 

Second inning: 

The second inning also wasn’t the issue for Castillo, who allowed a walk in an otherwise strong inning. However, his average Fastball Velocity was a little down in comparison to the first. Something which is normal on an opening day starts. It was worth noting that the Red Sox didn’thave one swing and a miss in the second inning.  

Castillo got Casas to Ground to First Baseman Ty France. Castillo got some calls on the outside edge on his Fastball, that helped him get to 2-2. Castillo missed badly with his two Changeups, so the calls on the Fastball were welcome for Castillo. On 2-2, Casas grounded out on a Slider down the zone. It was just the second Slider Castillo threw.  

Next up was Tyler O’Neil and it was a tough at bat for Castillo. Castillo walked O’Neil, but he didn’tget two calls. The first and third pitch both nipped the zone but were called balls. After the walk, O’Neil stole second.  

With the runner at second, Castillo had to go past Yoshida and Rafaela. He got Yoshida on a 3-2 Sinker, which Yoshida lined out to left on. It wasn’t hit particularly hard, but still had a .560 expected batting average. Canzone was stationed perfectly to make the catch. 

Castillo then got Rafaela on a called third strike on the top of the zone with a Sinker. Another at bat where Castillo threw just one off-speed pitch in a 5 pitch at-bat.  

Third Inning: 

Enmanuel Valdez got to a 1-2 Slider down the zone to hit it hard into Right Field for a base hit to open the third. It was a pretty good pitch and just the third Slider Castillo threw. Put Away pitch that Valdez did well on.  

After Wong popped up an 0-1 Fastball, Castillo struck out Durran on a Change-up in the dirt for the second out. Next up Rafael Devers: 

Devers parked a 0-1 Sinker that stayed in the top half of the zone the other way for a two-run-homer. It would have been a homer in 25/30 Ballparks.  

Castillo then got Story to Fly Out to Right Fielder Mitch Haniger on a 1-1 Fastball right down the Middle. He got away with that, but the damage was done. 

Fourth Inning: 

The Fourth inning didn’t start a lot better as Castillo allowed another hard hit. This time Tristan Casas got to his Fastball and hit it hard for a Sharp Single to Right. Casas hit the ball 105.4mph. Another pitch in the middle zone for Castillo. After getting O’Neil in a force out, which Crawford had some trouble with, Yoshida rocked a 0-1 Sinker to Right for a double. It was another Sinker up in the zone, which was hit hard at 104.7mph.  

Castillo got what he wanted on a 0-1 Sinker, a grounder to third. However, Rojas hit the runner O’Neil trying to score on the Helmet. It scored the third run against Castillo in an unfortunatefashion.  

Castillo got out of the inning with a pop out from Valdez and Rafaela (who hit the grounder to third to score O’Neil) was caught stealing.  

Fifth Inning: 

The Fifth inning started out well for Castillo, getting the number nine hitter on strikes. Castillo threw a Slider on 2-2 after three Fastballs to get Wong Swinging. The trouble occurred after the strikeout with the top of the order.  

Castillo tried to get Duran with three straight Changeups. He got ahead 0-2 and tried the Change again but Duran was able to drop in Right Field. It wasn’t hit hard (75.7mph) but placed well (.830 Expected BA). Might have been a Changeup too much for Duran, as the pitch was located well.  

Castillo, his nemeses from earlier in the game, made him pay again. A Fastball in the middle of the zone got rocked at 110mph for a double to right. It put runners on second and third with one out.  

After walking Story, Castillo got the Ground Ball he wanted from Casas on a 0-2 Changeup down and away to the lefty. Casas, however, placed it just right of Polanco who needed to go into a dive to make the force out. Got the Ground Ball for the DP didn’t get the result.  

Castillo finished his outing getting Tyler O’Neil to Fly to Right on a 1-1 Fastball Away. 

Break down: 

Castillo wasn’t at his A game in his opening day start. He started out well, but the last three innings were a struggle. His Sinker was up a little more and he paid for it. Hitters went 2 for 6 on the Sinker with a Homerun and Double. Both those Sinkers were at the top of the zone.  

 Castillo also threw a lot of Fastballs. He threw Fastballs (4 Seamer/Sinker) 70.3% of the time. While the 4 Seamer had a lot more success overall with a .111 Expected Batting Average against, it was worth noting he had just 2 swings and misses on the pitch. It resulted in a whiff percentage of just 11 percent, while he had a 33.3% Whiff rate last year.  

While that’s sounds concerning. It’s worth noting that it was his first start. His velo was slightly down, which resulted in a little less spin rate as well. Still, it’s a pitch to keep an eye on. After he was above his 2023 average velo early in the game, he faltered later in the game. When the Velo went down, his success went down too.  

I look for Castillo to bounce back next outing after getting this Opening day start out of the way. Back to a normal start for the Mariners Ace.

Corne Hogeveen
Corne Hogeveenhttps://mlbreport.com/
Mets fan from the Netherlands since 2006. As a European fan, trying to get to as many games as possible. Mets writer for MLBreport and Co-host of the Queens Connection Podcast. Author of Diary of a Dutch Mets fan


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