Either you got heat, or you don't. Luis Castillo's definitely got heat. Throw whatever feels good. It's not that hard of a philosophy. For a guy who has made multiple All-Star teams and recently got a nice contract extension from the Seattle Mariners, I feel like Luis Castillo borders on underrated. He's been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the last several years. He's in a perfect situation in Seattle, pitching at a pitcher's park for a team that is very much in the thick of things for the second year in a row. He was also excellent in October last year for the Mariners. If Seattle wants to shock the world and make it to their first-ever World Series, Castillo will have to be a huge part of that.
Last night in a game against the White Sox, he was feeling his fastball. It helps that the Mariners put a five spot on the board in the first inning against the Southsiders. After that, Castillo settled in and didn't really feel like throwing anything other than his fastball.
If you're not going to be crafty, you might as well be overpowering. When you have the kind of stuff that Luis Castillo has, and you can throw fastballs in the upper 90s, you might as well do it until somebody squares it up. ￼You got to do whatever you have to do to get outs, but I would argue throwing 47 consecutive fastballs borders on disrespectful. Like I said, Luis Castillo shouldn't care, but what a damning indictment it is on the Chicago White Sox that a pitcher can throw 47 consecutive heaters without worrying about getting barreled up. In fairness, near the end, the White Sox did start to rope a few baseballs, but nothing that resulted in any runs.
We've seen pitchers do this in the past, and I always find it fascinating. One of the first instances that came to mind was when Bartolo Colón threw 38 consecutive strikes in a game against the Los Angeles Angels. That was who Bartolo was. He was a sinkerballer who, at his best, was a guy who couldn't get squared up.
I would say one of the prime examples of a pitcher trusting his stuff was when Lance McCullers Jr. came out of the pen in the 2017 ALCS. In game seven of that series, he threw 24 consecutive knuckle curve balls against the New York Yankees. It takes a rare pitcher to have the confidence to do that, but even more so, it takes a rare catcher to keep putting the same number of fingers down. Technically, they don't use the finger system anymore, but you get my point.
Only a team with vibes as good as Seattle can get away with something like this. I love my Detroit Tigers, but I think I'd pull my hair out if I found out that Matt Manning threw 47 consecutive fastballs. Castillo can get away with it because no matter how many consecutive fastballs he's going to throw, you always have to sit on that filthy changeup. With his said, 47 heaters in a row was truly a sight to behold. ￼￼