As a jumbo-sized nerd, I cherished again to college time: the recent fallen snow of a ream of crisp new paper, color-coded binders by topic (AP US History is purple, after all, and geometry is clearly inexperienced), a set of recent pens which have by no means identified the grime of the underside of a backpack. But again to college time was additionally an opportunity to reinvent myself, new lessons with new folks; an opportunity to make an excellent good friend or, barring that, a minimum of persuade my new classmates I might cross for cool, or cool-adjacent. First impressions are a present not to be taken frivolously, and each the Mariners and Luis Castillo appeared intent on impressing one another early in the sequence finale at Yankee Stadium.
In addition to the left on base woes, my different main grievance about this offense has been not punishing struggling pitchers early, permitting them to get right into a groove and cruise. Theoretically, you possibly can’t win the sport in the primary inning, besides right now the Mariners principally did, punishing Gerrit Cole for a fugue state lack of command in the primary. Today was an enormous victory for the “stuff does not matter if you cannot find” crowd, as Cole’s stuff was classic Cole nasty: 98-100 simply with a depraved slider; his 23 swing-and-misses at the moment lead all of baseball for right now. But in that first inning, Cole could not get a deal with on his stuff. He walked Jesse Winker on 5 pitches, not significantly shut, after permitting a leadoff base hit to Adam Frazier, who continues to warmth up; he added one other two hits right now. Cole then tried to steal a primary pitch strike towards Eugenio Suárez, however left a 90 MPH slider proper in the center of the plate that Suárez, uh, did not miss:
That got here off the bat at 109.4 MPH, making it at the moment the fourth-hardest hit ball in baseball right now, behind sluggers Yordan Álvarez and Randy Arozarena.
Cole then proceeded to conduct a grasp class in how not to reply to adversity, making an attempt to buckle down towards Carlos Santana however leaving 99 in the center of the plate for Santana to rocket out of the yard. Okay, so the slider wasn’t working, and fastballs in the center of the plate aren’t a good suggestion; how concerning the changeup?
Jarred Kelenic goes deep! The Mariners hit three house runs off of Gerrit Cole in the primary inning to make it 6-0! pic.twitter.com/YmzX5UUXWa
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 3, 2022
Gerrit my man, the issue shouldn’t be the pitches, the issue is the placement. That really was a two-run house run as JP Crawford had reached on a single, lining a knuckle curve reverse, which gave the Mariners successful on each one among Cole’s varied pitches throughout this inning. Eventually, Sam Haggerty, the ninth man to the plate, grounded out to finish the inning, and Cole settled down over the subsequent 5 innings, pitching like his common ace self as he racked up eight strikeouts and did not problem one other stroll nor hand over one other run. He really got here a pitch shy of an immaculate inning at one level. Unfortunately for Cole and the Yankees, the Mariners had their very own ace going right now, and he was doing so with a career-first six-run lead earlier than he ever set foot on the mound.
Much has been made on social media of the Mariners’ “overpay” for Luis Castillo, and the prospect price was undeniably steep, nevertheless it wasn’t an overpay, since there is no such factor as an overpay in a commerce market, simply what a workforce is keen to pay. The Yankees balked at Castillo as a result of they did not need to half with their prized shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe; the Mariners had been keen to construct a package deal round each Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo. It’s the riskiest commerce we have seen from Jerry Dipoto, in that it has the very best chance of wanting like a serious loss a pair years down the highway if one or each of Marte and Arroyo grow to be stars, however right now’s recreation defined the willingness to pay such a premium because it underscored the significance of what buying an ace-level pitcher like Castillo does for the Mariners. All of this begins with the offense profiting from Cole’s command taking a powder for an inning, nevertheless it ends with Luis Castillo going toe-to-toe, ace-to-ace with Cole, ensuring the Yankees offense did not have an opportunity to come again in this recreation whilst Cole discovered his command.
Things did not begin out easily, precisely, as Castillo had to struggle each his command and the Abstract Expressionist portray referred to as house plate umpire CB Bucknor’s strike zone; it took him 17 pitches, with simply 10 strikes, to clear the primary inning, and he wanted an help from a superb charging play by JP to preserve the ever-pesky DJ LeMahieu off the bases and nicely as work round a double from Matt Carpenter . The second inning was a lot the identical, with Castillo opening with a stroll to Andrew Benintendi earlier than gathering his first strikeout as a Mariner, completely obliterating Gleyber Torres on three pitches, all at 98-99 MPH:
After getting Aaron Hicks to floor out on a pitch that registered at 100 MPH, Isiah Kiner-Falefa managed to struggle off 98 from Castillo and punch it into heart field, scoring Benintendi, who had swiped second. Castillo then acquired bailed out by his protection once more after surrendering a double, once more on a fastball that caught an excessive amount of of the plate, to Kyle Higashioka, however Jesse and JP mentioned NOPE:
Maybe he was emboldened by the standard of protection taking part in behind him, however after that inning, Castillo acquired in the zone extra and began attacking hitters early in the rely. In the primary two innings he threw first-pitch strikes to simply 4 of 9 batters confronted; in the subsequent two innings that quantity went up to 4 of six as he additionally racked up 4 of his strikeouts on the day over innings three and 4, together with his first Mariners strikeout on the non-fastball, this great thing about a slider to Rizzo:
While the Mariners offense scuffled towards a resurgent Cole, Castillo did what a frontline pitcher is meant to do and saved the highly effective Yankees offense in line. He had to work round a few walks—one which was his fault, a four-pitch stroll by DJ LeMahieu in the fifth, and one in the sixth that was not his fault however a results of two blown calls by CB Bucknor in a really tough at-bat with Matt Carpenter—and appeared to be tiring some in the seventh, the place his entrance shoulder began flying open on a few of his changeups and it appeared like he simply wasn’t ending his pitches. Castillo battled for his eighth strikeout of the day towards Aaron Hicks, getting him wanting on a well-spotted slider, nevertheless it took seven pitches. He then surrendered a hard-hit floor ball that smoked previous Carlos Santana off the bat of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and made a poor first-pitch slider to Kyle Higashioka that acquired walloped into the seats, Higashioka’s second extra-base hit of the day. off Castillo, chopping the Mariners lead to 7-3 and making this little insurance coverage solo house run by Jesse Winker that occurred on the high of the inning all of the extra vital.
That ended Castillo’s day at 6.2 innings—a lightweight day for the workhorse, who usually works into the seventh and throws over 100 pitches, to which I gently recommend: what if not? What if he simply does not try this. Because the Mariners have a fairly good bullpen, as demonstrated right now: Ryan Borucki tidied up the again of the seventh, Matt Festa labored one other scoreless inning in entrance of family and friends in his hometown (#gabagoolpower), and Paul Sewald— who the Yankees broadcast was very salty about seeing in a non-save scenario, suggesting that “Servais should actually need to win this recreation” (??? Yes??? He desires??? That??)—closed out the ninth like he had a margarita and a binge session of The Bear ready for him on the aircraft experience house.
It was enjoyable to watch Castillo laughing and smiling along with his new (and outdated!) teammates in the dugout, shaking arms with Servais, and appreciating the wonderful protection behind him, like this play the place JP was clearly displaying off for the new man.
Ah, the honeymoon section of a new relationship the place you are each making an attempt to impress one another. Today everybody confirmed up and confirmed out prefer it was the primary day of faculty, replete with recent outfits and a few shiny Gold Glove protection and teammates, new and outdated, beginning one thing new and funky collectively. It can be enjoyable to see what it is like when the children come house from their field trip to the massive metropolis and we get to see all of them construct that cool factor collectively, proper in entrance of our eyes.