Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo participated in his first All-Star game on Tuesday night. The right-handed pitcher took the mound in the 4th inning for the National League squad. He had the pleasure of facing the middle of the order, tasked with facing at least the 4-5-6 hitters.
Hometown favorite Carlos Santana was the first to face the Reds ace. He saw five pitches. Two of them were change ups. He missed both of them. The third pitch he swung at was a 98.3 MPH fastball that he also missed.
J.D. Martinez was the next
victim batter. The first pitch he saw was a 98 MPH fastball. He swung and missed. He then saw three consecutive change ups. Martinez swung and missed at the final two.
The next hitter was reigning All-Star MVP Alex Bregman. It was a struggle to start the at-bat for Luis Castillo, who fell behind him 3-0. Bregman, as you’d expect, took the 4th pitch of the at-bat and it was a called strike. Castillo came back with a 97.7 MPH fastball and the Astros infielder swung through it, putting him into a full count. The Reds righty ended the at-bat with a 97.3 MPH fastball that resulted in contact by Bregman, but it was a ground ball to second base to end the inning.
One inning of work. Two strikeouts. Seven swinging strikes. Perfection. As it turns out “unhittable change up” translates quite well between National League and American League. Little was lost in translation.
Sonny Gray, for the second time in his career was elected to the All-Star game. And just like the previous time, back in 2015, he didn’t get a chance to play in the game.