ARLINGTON, Texas — Luis Castillo’s trend of squaring off against the opposing team’s ace will continue in his third start since joining the Mariners.
After dueling with Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole in his first two outings as a member of the Mariners, Castillo will take the mound Monday in Anaheim with the Angels starting right-hander Shohei Ohtani.
In 14 starts with the Reds before being traded and two starts with the Mariners, Castillo has a 5-4 record with a 2.71 ERA. In 99 2/3 innings. He has struck out 105 batters and walked 33.
Over his last seven starts, Castillo is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 15 walks in 48 2/3 innings. Opponents have a .180/.250/.285 slash line during that stretch.
He has never pitched in Angel Stadium and faced the Angels just once back in 2019 at Great American Ballpark. He struck out 13 batters over seven innings.
Ohtani has been the Angels’ best starting pitcher this season, which isn’t a high bar. But he’d be the best pitcher in most rotations. He has a 10-8 record with a 2.68 ERA in 19 starts this season.
In 111 innings, he’s struck out a whopping 157 batters with 27 walks. His 12.73 strikeouts per nine innings is the highest among starting pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched. He’s striking out 35% of the batters he’s facing and walking just 6%.
How is he doing it? Well, his splitfinger fastball generates a swing and miss 52.3% of the time he throws it while his slider is generating whiffs 43.7% of the time. Throw in a fastball that can touch 100 mph, it won’t be a fun night for Mariners hitters.
Manager Scott Servais said after Sunday’s loss that you need to hit and score runs to win on the road, that could be difficult against Ohtani.
From June 22 to July 28, Ohtani made six starts where he racked up double figures in strikeouts in each outing. He had 68 punchouts and eight walks in 39 innings pitched. On June 16 at T-Mobile Park, Ohtani pitched six scoreless innings, allowing three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in the Angels 4-1 win over the Mariners.
After cratering in June (10-18) and July (6-18), the Angels have started to play better, including a split of four-game series in Seattle. They’ve one six of their last nine, including taking two of three from the Twins.
The Wednesday afternoon finale of the Angels series, which starts at 1:07 p.m., will be not be televised by ROOT Sports. It has instead been selected by MLB and YouTube for its “game of the week.”
As part of a streaming agreement made with MLB, YouTube has exclusive rights to 15 games this season. The Mariners, who own the controlling interest in ROOT Sports, cannot televise that game on their regional sports network per the agreement.
The Mariners game vs. the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday, Aug. 25, at T-Mobile Park has also been selected for a YouTube broadcast. That series opener will be played at 1:10 p.m. due to a large concert that evening at Lumen Field.
Also Saturday’s game in Oakland will have a 4:15 p.m. first pitch with Fox picking it up for one of its national broadcasts.