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Luis Castillo phenomenal, Reds lose to Gerrit Cole, Pirates 1-0 in battle of aces

Frustrating in the win/loss column, but exciting as hell for the future.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

After back to back great starts from young pitchers Sal Romano and Robert Stephenson, there has been the first real sense of optimism about the future of the Cincinnati Reds’ rotation since perhaps the first day of the season.

On Saturday, rookie Luis Castillo heaped a 10-ton bag of optimism on that previous optimism, as he looked absolutely electric against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Castillo fired 7 innings of 1 ER ball, blighted only by a dinger by his opposition on the bump, Gerrit Cole. He fanned 9, allowed just 3 hits and a lone walk, and touched 100 mph repeatedly deep in the game. It wasn’t even the kind of performance that you walked away from saying “man, I’m glad I saw that one of a kind outing from Castillo,” since it was as confident, consistent, and seemingly effortless that you got the impression we’ll get to see outings like this quite often in the near future.

And that, folks, is a damn exciting development.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Scott Schebler, who singled twice (and hit both of them quite hard); and Jose Peraza, who singled and swiped his 17th base of the season.

Key Plays

  • Gerrit Cole didn’t just shut down the Cincinnati offense on the night - he provided serious offense of his own. He took Castillo deep for a solo dinger in the Top of the 6th inning, which put the Reds in a hole, 1-0.
  • That was it. That’s all. Reds lost, 1-0.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Joey Votto went 0 for 4 to end his streak of 17 bajillion consecutive games in which he reached base safely. I’m sure he’ll get on 9 times tomorrow, though, because that’s just what Joey Gawdang Votto does, man.
  • The Reds announced around midnight last night that Tyler Mahle will be called up on Sunday to make his big league debut as a starting pitcher. And while Nefi Ogando was outrighted to Louisville on Saturday, as The Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan reported, that he came from the 60-day DL means there will need to be another roster move to get Mahle active prior to tomorrow’s start.
  • It won’t be Chad Wallach getting de-rostered, either, since he’ll be making his big league debut behind the plate in Mahle’s start, in part because Stuart Turner is still on the paternity list but also because the two have been battery mates in both AA and AAA over the past two seasons.
  • 2nd overall pick Hunter Greene will also be making his professional pitching debut tomorrow with Billings. In other words, if the 2017 Reds’ season was all about making strides towards contending in the future, Sunday, August 27th, 2017 is going to be a pretty damn big day in that regard.
  • First pitch Sunday will be at the usual 1:10 PM ET. Mahle will be opposed by Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon.
  • Tunes.