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Luis Castillo Throws Complete Game 2-Hitter and Beats Cards 3-1

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MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

I know everyone loves a little analytical preview of the game and its permutations before jumping right into the recap action, but all I’ve got for you is that Reds’ starter Luis Castillo threw a complete game 2-hitter, the first complete game of his career in his 87 start. The Cards made weak contact all night, and Castillo got either a whiff or a called strike on 40% of his changeups and 61% of his sliders. We were fortunate to get the run we got, as Castillo kept the Cards off-balance all night with his 98 mph sinker and 88 mph changeup, with a few sliders thrown in. There was a disputed replay review in the bottom of the 2nd that gave the Reds the 2nd out of the inning with a runner on 3rd base, but I doubt it mattered.

Wainwright took the hill for the Cards. Shogo Akiyama softly chopped a low 0-2 curve to Wong at 2nd base, who had to charge quick and make a fast transfer just to nip Akiyama at 1st base. Nick Castellanos blooped a low-and-away 1-1 cutter to center. Thomas was playing deep and shading him to hit the opposite way and he also got a late break on the ball. All of those things allowed the ball to drop for a base hit. It looked like Joey Votto walked on 4 pitches. But the home plate umpire called the 3-0 fastball a strike even though it was clearly above the zone. Votto was clearly frustrated, but Wainwright’s next pitch was a low-and-in cutter, which Votto absolutely crushed over the bullpen in right-center for a 2-run HR to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.

After Eugenio Suarez lined a first-pitch hanging cutter to left for a base hit, Brian Goodwin grounded an 0-1 hanging curve to Wong for an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. Kolten Wong struck out swinging at a nasty 1-2 low changeup from Luis Castillo to lead off the bottom of the 1st. Tommy Edman drove a low-and-away 1-1 change to left center in the gap, but the left fielder Akiyama ran it down. Paul Goldschmidt tapped an inside 0-1 fastball towards the left side hole, but Suarez charged over from 3rd and made the play to end the inning.

Aristides Aquino flied a first-pitch low-and-away curve to left to start the top of the 2nd. Freddy Galvis sharply grounded a low-and-away 1-2 curve to DeJong just to the left of the bag. Jose Garcia struck out swinging at a looping low-and-in 0-2 curve to end the inning. After Brad Miller drew a 4-pitch lead off walk, Paul DeJong ripped an inside 2-2 fastball inside the 3rd base line and into the left field corner for a double to move Miller to 3rd. With the infield in, Yadier Molina tapped a 1-0 low-and-in fastball to the left side for Suarez. He fielded the ball, looked Miller back to 3rd and threw Yadi out at 1st. Carpenter check-swung a 1-2 low change and tapped it slowly to Votto at 1st. Instead of trying to run to the bag himself, Votto decided to flip the ball to the pitcher Castillo, but the 1st base umpire ruled that Carpenter barely beat Castillo to the bag. Brad Miller scored to cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1 and DeJong moved to 3rd on the play. The Reds challenged the call, and it was surprisingly overturned. The replay looked like it was a tie, which of course does not automatically go the runner, but it didn’t look clear that Castillo beat Carpenter to the bag. Carpenter was now out for the 2nd out, but the run still scored. Tyler O’Neill struck out swinging at a 2-2 low-and-away change to end the inning.

Curt Casali tapped an 0-2 low-and-away curve back to the mound to lead off the top of the 3rd. Akiyama sliced an inside 2-1 curve to left for a base hit. Castellanos lined an outside hanging 1-0 curve right to DeJong at short. After Votto worked a 3-2 walk, Suarez lined a first-pitch hanging curve down the 3rd base line and into the left field corner for a double to score Akiyama, move Votto to 3rd and extend the Reds’ lead to 3-1. Goodwin struck out swinging at a low 1-2 curve to end the inning. To lead off the bottom of the 3rd, Lane Thomas grounded a 2-2 center-cut fastball into the shift for the 2nd baseman Galvis to the left of the 2nd base bag. Wong lined a first-pitch hanging slider to center for a base hit. Edman tapped a low-and-away 1-1 fastball to Votto towards the 1st base line, and this time he ran to the bag himself for the 2nd out. With Wong at 2nd and 2 out, Goldschmidt struck out swinging at a low-and-away 2-2 change to end the inning.

Aquino must have been looking for a breaking pitch, as he swung late and struck out swinging at a center-cut 89 mph 3-2 fastball to lead off the top of the 4th. Galvis sharply grounded a hanging 2-1 curve through the right side for a base hit to right. Garcia lined a hanging 0-1 cutter for a bullet right off of Wainwright’s right thigh. The ball traveled 105 mph off the bat. It deflected in front of Waino, and he ran to grab it and threw Garcia out at 1st. Galvis moved to 2nd on the play. Everyone came out to check on him, but after a very brief delay, he stayed in the game. Casali grounded an outside 3-2 fastball to Carpenter, who was guarding the line, and Carp threw him out to end the inning. Brad Miller lined an outside 1-0 fastball to the gap in left-center to lead off the bottom of the 4th, but the center fielder Goodwin raced over and made a great running catch to track it down. DeJong struck out swinging at a nasty 2-2 low-and-in changeup. Molina grounded an 0-1 inside fastball to 3rd to end the inning.

After Akiyama worked a 3-2 walk to lead off the top of the 5th, Molina threw him out trying to steal second base on the first pitch to Castellanos.

Castellanos then hit a 0-2 center-cut fastball for a sharp grounder on one hop to Wong. Votto broke his bat on an up-and-in 3-2 90 mph fastball to shallow center, but Thomas raced in and made a nifty sliding catch to end the inning.

After Carpenter walked on 5 pitches to begin the bottom of the 5th, O’Neill grounded an outside 0-2 change to short for a 6-4-3 double play. Thomas grounded a 2-2 inside change to 3rd to end the inning.

Suarez flied a 2-1 outside curve to left to lead off the top of the 6th. Goodwin grounded an inside cutter to the right side. Wong dove to his left to try to get it and stopped the ball, but couldn’t get it into his glove. His shovel pass to 1st didn’t get any traction either, and Goodwin had an infield base hit. Aquino flied a 1-0 outside curve to left. With Goodwin running on the 2-1 pitch, Galvis surprise bunted a center-cut fastball down the 3rd base line that just stopped on the grass about halfway to the bag. I’m not sure if that was a planned hit-and-bunt, or if I’ve ever heard of such a thing, but Galvis had an infield hit to advance Goodwin to 2nd. But it ended up not working, as Garcia struck out swinging at two curves in a row that were low-and-away and outside the zone to strand the runners. Wong flied an 0-2 outside change to left to lead off the bottom of the 6th. Edman lined an outside 3-2 change to left. Goldschmidt softly chopped an inside fastball to 3rd to end the inning.

Wainwright’s night was done after 99 pitches, and Seth Elledge came out to pitch the top of the 7th for the Cards. Casali struck out swinging at a 3-2 fastball low-and-away and out of the zone. Akiyama struck out swinging at a nasty 1-2 slider in the dirt low-and-in. Castellanos grounded a low 0-1 slider to short to end the inning. Brad Miller chased a low-and-away 0-1 change and grounded it opposite the shift, but Suarez backhanded it and threw Miller out. DeJong struck out swinging at an 0-2 slider low-and-away and out of the zone. Molina sharply grounded an inside 1-1 fastball towards the middle, but the shortstop Garcia fielded the ball to his left near the bag, spun around and threw Molina out to end the inning, which Castillo escaped in 8 pitches.

Tyler Webb came out to pitch the top of the 8th. Votto struck out swinging at a middle-in 91 mph fastball. There was a brief delay after Suarez fouled off Webb’s 1-1 pitch, and Suarez felt something wrong with his left hand. When play resumed, Suarez flied a low-and-away 1-2 change to left. Goodwin grounded a high 1-2 change to 2nd to end the inning. To lead off the bottom of the 8th, Carpenter grounded an 0-2 low-and-in fastball to Galvis on the outfield grass into the shift. O’Neill got jammed on an inside 0-1 fastball and grounded out to 2nd. Thomas popped an inside 1-1 fastball to shallow center to end the inning, and again Castillo got out of it with only 8 pitches.

Nabil Crismatt came out for the Cards in the top of the 9th. Aquino struck out swinging at a nasty 2-2 low-and-in change. Galvis chased a high-and-outside 1-2 fastball and tapped it back to the mound. Crismatt bobbled it a couple of times and threw it low to 1st, but the throw barely beat Galvis to the bag. Garcia grounded a low-and-away 1-2 curve to 3rd to end the inning. At 96 pitches, Castillo came back out to for the bottom of the 9th to go for the first complete game of his career after 86 previous starts. Wong was way out in front of a 2-2 hanging change and struck out swinging. Edman sharply grounded an 0-2 outside change to short. Goldschmidt worked a 3-2 walk, and he caught a break because the 3-2 pitch was a high fastball that looked like it was a strike at the top of the zone. Brad Miller chased a low 0-1 change and tapped it back the mound. Castillo bobbled the ball then fired a strike to first that nipped Miller by a step to end the game.

Wainwright (5 days rest) 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR; Elledge (no rest, top 7, down 3-1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO; Webb (3 days rest, top 8, down 3-1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO; Crismatt (no rest, top 9, down 3-1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO.

ODDS AND ENDS

The Brewers beat the Cubs 1-0 in walkoff fashion in the bottom of the 9th. With the score tied 0-0 and Rowan Wick on the mound, Christian Yelich led off by walking on 5 pitches. Jedd Gyorko lined a base hit to right to move Yelich to 3rd. Jeremy Jeffress came out to pitch to Ryan Braun, who hit a game-winning Sac Fly to right to end the game. Brewers’ starter Brandon Woodruff pitched 7 innings and allowed only 1 hit with no walks and 12 strikeouts. The Cubs only had 2 hits and struck out 16 times.