Humberto Castellanos had a good feel for his slider tonight as he rode it to 5 strong innings to pick up the win as the Diamondbacks defeated the Mets 5-2. Strong bullpen support and a resurgent offense combined to deliver the victory.
Usually Castellanos uses the slider about 25% of the time, but he threw 22 of them among his 69 pitches. It’s been a strong pitch for him this year, as the spin rates are up almost 200 RPM compared to 2021, and the movement is up along with it.
Said Castellanos about the slider:
“It was definitely one of the key pitches tonight. It was working really well with the changeup against left-handed batters. The two hits they got in my last inning were with the slider, so I didn’t want to use it although it was my best pitch and it helped my control the game.”
“Casty” , as manager Torey Lovullo likes to call him, cruised through the first 4 innings, allowing just a leadoff single in the 4th. He hit a speed bump in the 5th however , giving up a double to Dominic Smith and a triple to Jeff McNeil to score the Mets first run, (ironically on a slider, but still....). After a mound visit from Brent Strom he gave up another base hit to Tomas Nido to score McNeil. But he got out of the inning when Brandon Nimmo hit a sharp liner right at Geraldo Perdomo who made the grab and fired to first doubling off Nido.
Torey never got the bullpen up and had no intention of removing Castellanos. He felt he was throwing the ball real well and wanted him to get the win.
“I wasn’t going to come off it, I wanted to give him the opportunity to win a baseball game. Once he got into the dugout he was at  pitches, I felt like he it was time to turn it over to the bullpen, he had done his job”
Daulton Varsho had another good night on offense. He singled in the first, advanced to 3rd on a David Peralta base hit, and came in to score on a Ketel Marte fielders choice.
In the second inning he roped a bases loaded single to right for an RBI. In the 6th he reached base on a strikeout/wild pitch. Showing off his speed he stole second.
Pavin Smith had a two hit night, including a beautiful RBI double down the left field line on a 97 MPH four seamer
Geraldo Perdomo ripped an opposite field to the left field wall over McNeil’s head for a triple. (No video available on that one, but it was a smash)
Doubles get the job done. pic.twitter.com/63fFqMNkzb— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) April 24, 2022
The offense rapped out 11 hits, but also left some runs out there. They started off the game 3 for 6 with RISP and ended the night 3 for 13. Twice they had 2nd and 3rd, nobody out, and only managed one run out of those chances. Ketel Marte continues to be a concern. He went 0-5, left 5 man on base, and made another error in the field. He is really struggling right now. But the positives outweighed the negatives
The bullpen was good tonight. Noe Ramirez, Kyle Nelson , and Ian Kennedy combined for three scoreless innings. There was some traffic, as they also combined for 2 walks and 3 base hits.
Joe Mantiply was called on to get the save as closer Mark Melancon had worked two nights in a row. He had 1-2-3 drama free inning that ended with a spectacular play from Sergio Alcantara
An unreal play from Sergio Alcántara to end it! pic.twitter.com/aYgir8lnX2— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 24, 2022
The game included an oddity. Both teams had a runner called out for getting hit by a batted ball. In the D-backs half of the 5th Seth Beer drew a walk. Pavin Smith hit a sharp groundball towards first base. The ball got by Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and hit Beer. Usually the call there is if the ball hits the runner after the fielder missed it, the runner may continue running and is not out. The exception is if the umpire determines another fielder could have made a play on the ball. That was the call the umpire made, ruling that Robinson Cano could have still made a play. Torey argued that to no avail, and it was a questionable call. Cano was positioned pretty close to the 2b bag, and no longer has the range to make that kind of play.
Perhaps it was Karma, but in the 7th inning Cano was hit by a ball off the bat of Jeff McNeil while on second base and he was ruled out as well. Justice was served. It was a key play as Nelson was having an adventurous inning tha required a 6-4-3 DP to get out of.
The Diamondbacks improve to 6-9 with the victory and the Mets fall to 11-5. The rubber match is at 1:10, Madison Bumgarner will face off against Tylor MeGill. Matchup info available in the series preview.
Daulton Varsho +.120 WPA, Kyle Nelson, +.101, Geraldo Perdomo +.87 and Humberto Castellanos +.87 lead the way big clutch plays tonight.
Ketel Marte brought up the rear with -.052 WPA. Sergio Alcantara registered -.030 on offense, but his play to end the game made up for it emotionally if not statistically.
COTD goes to Kilnborn, commenting on some bad ball and strike calls by the umpire, this time that went our way: