Luis Castillo sensational in Seattle Mariners home debut


Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo pumps his fist after the top of the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the New York Yankees, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


Meet your ace, Seattle fans. This is why the Mariners traded for Luis Castillo at the deadline: the swagger, the dazzling slider that makes opposing hitters look silly, the dominant fastball, the filthy sinker. And above all else, the commanding presence on the mound, the I’m-better-than-you attitude, mowing down batter after batter.

For the first time, Mariners fans got a live view of Castillo as he made his home debut at T-Mobile Park against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night. He was sensational, throwing eight innings, allowing just three hits, no runs, walking two and striking out seven.

He clapped into his glove as he walked off the field after the eighth inning, forcing an Isiah Kiner-Falefa ground ball and stranding a pair of Yankees base runners. The crowd roared, giving the 29-year-old a well-deserved ovation.

Seattle walked the game off in the bottom of the 13th inning with a Luis Torrens single to beat New York, 1-0 and even the series at a game apiece. Torrens came in the game to pinch hit and delivered the only run Seattle would need. It ended a four hour, seven minute long, fascinating game, marked by some comically bad Yankees baserunning. Perhaps the highlight: a comebacker to reliever Matt Brash in the top of the 12th, which turned into a 1-6-5-4 double play (that’s pitcher to the shortstop, to the third baseman, to the second baseman).

Even with the rule of the runner starting on second base in extra innings, neither team was able to score until the Mariners finally ended the game in the bottom of the 13th.

It looked like the Castillo outing might end up with the Felix Hernandez treatment, as the other guy was just as good on Tuesday. Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out eight. He threw 72 of his 109 pitches for strikes.

In Castillo, Seattle got the top pitcher available in the market. Cincinnati obtained infielders Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo, and right-handers Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore. Marte was the Mariners’ top-rated prospect, Arroyo was third and Stoudt fifth.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President, threw the ceremonial first pitch at the game. After taking a photo with Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto and others, he threw a respectable lob to Mariners manager Scott Servais.

He was greeted with mostly applause and some scattered boos, a sign of the polarizing times we live in. Fauci has been the face of the United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic and a vocal advocate for vaccines.

This story will be updated.

This story was originally published August 9, 2022 11:22 PM.

Jon Manley covers high school sports for The News Tribune. A McClatchy President’s Award winner and Gonzaga University graduate, Manley has covered the South Sound sports scene since 2013. Born and raised in Tacoma.

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