Bell doesn’t see anything concerning in Castillo’s first start

Reds starter struggles in Opening Day loss to Cardinals

Luis Castillo wasn’t making an excuse for his struggles on Opening Day in the Cincinnati Reds’ 11-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, but there’s little doubt the cold weather Thursday made it difficult for him and all the pitchers.

“It’s definitely pretty hard to throw in the cold,” Castillo said. “Obviously, I’m coming from the Dominican Republic and there were a couple days when it was cold in Arizona, but it was really really cold out there (Thursday).”

The temperature was 37 degrees when the game started and dropped a couple degrees in the later innings. Snow flurries fell at times throughout the day at Great American Ball Park.

“I’ve never pitched in snow,” Castillo said. “The closest thing I got was in Pittsburgh when it was raining, but it felt pretty cold. I tried to breathe on my fingers to keep my hands warm. The one thing I didn’t feel was my face. That was one thing I couldn’t feel all day.”

Castillo allowed six runs in the first inning and eight earned runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. It was the worst outing of his career. He allowed eight earned runs once previously — also against the Cardinals — on Aug. 16, 2019, but lasted 4 1/3 innings in that game.

“I give those batters all the credit,” Castillo said. “They hit pretty good pitches that I threw.”

Castillo allowed nine earned runs in five September starts last season and nearly matched that in his first start of 2021. The second batter of the game, Paul Goldschmidt, nearly hit a home run. The ball hit the top of the fence, and he was awarded a ground-rule double. The seventh batter of the game, Dylan Carlson, did hit a home run. It was a three-shot that doubled the St. Louis lead to 6-0.

“I actually thought he was throwing the ball pretty well,” Castillo said. “He wasn’t dominating like we’re used to seeing. At the same time, I didn’t see anything concerning at all.”

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