On one degree, the Yankees are the husband (or spouse) for whom it appears unimaginable to get a correct birthday (or anniversary) (or Christmas) (or Hanukah) current. In any case, what do you get the husband (or spouse) (or baseball staff) that appears to have all the things?
Then Luis Castillo strode to the Yankee Stadium mound Thursday evening.
Immediately, in a second of inspiration just like if you lastly determine the proper reward on your partner, the Yankees pinpointed the best current for themselves.
All that was lacking was a present wrap and a bow.
“He is received a two-seamer and a four-seamer, hits 95-99 [mph]he paints either side of the plate,” supervisor Aaron Boone mentioned, surprise in his voice, a number of hours later, after his Yankees had misplaced, 7-6 in 10 innings. “He offers you two totally different seems with the fastball, works either side of the plate with it and has an important changeup.
“He was nice.”
He was that. The Yankees spent most of Thursday evening trying as in the event that they have been toying with the Reds the way in which a terrier toys with a chipmunk after he is caught the critter. They worn out a 1-0 deficit. They erased a 4-1 deficit. They sliced a 7-4 result in 7-6 one batter into the tenth inning. The Reds are one of many worst groups in baseball, the Yankees the very best. It appeared inevitable.
However… effectively. That is baseball, Suzyn.
However so is the sport that is about to choose up some steam throughout the following few weeks, the trade-deadline parlor sport that guarantees to be additional attention-grabbing in New York Metropolis this yr. The Mets are definitely out there for an additional bat for his or her lineup and one other arm for his or her bullpen. The Yankees, regardless of their 62-27 report (and their magic quantity for clinching the AL East of 61) might absolutely use one other lockdown starter now that their rotation has sustained a number of nicks and bruises the previous few weeks.
And there, for all to see, was Castillo.
As soon as, after The Beatles carried out their ultimate dwell efficiency, a rooftop live performance in January 1969 excessive above 3 Savile Row, which housed their Apple recording studio, John Lennon famously quipped right into a dwell microphone: “I might prefer to thanks on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hoped we handed the audition.”
Properly, it is exhausting to talk for the remainder of the Reds, and as a gaggle they’re extra the Rutles than the Beatles. However Castillo absolutely handed his audition.
He threw seven sensible innings on the Yankees, permitting just one run (which most likely would not have scored if his second baseman, Jonathan India, hadn’t botched a floor ball with the infield in), and hanging out eight. He reached 98 mph recurrently throughout 114 pitches. The Yankees regarded positively baffled, first pitch to final.
And Castillo having a hell of a time, regarded as comfy pitching at Yankee Stadium in entrance of 41,311 folks as he usually does in entrance of family and friends again house at Nice American Ball Park. That is as necessary to see as something, should you’re the Yankees and also you’re enthusiastic about throwing some expensive chips on the desk and pointing at Cincinnati.
Now, there’s a honest query right here. The Reds are in full rebuilding mode and, positive, that usually signifies that anybody is in play if the return is sufficiently big. Should not the Reds no less than be enthusiastic about making Castillo — underneath staff management by means of subsequent yr — a foundational piece, and never a transactional one?
(After all the Reds are a staff whose president, Phil Castellini, bristled earlier this yr at fan criticism by pouting and spewing: “Are you gonna abandon being a Reds fan? Are you gonna abandon following this staff?”)
It is easy actually:
If Castillo is in play, the Yankees have to be in play. They’ve already been recognized, together with the Dodgers, as one of many two most lively suitors. Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman have each pledged to honor what the Yankees have already finished by ensuring they’ve a maximized staff getting into October.
And a maximized staff would have Gerrit Cole and Castillo as a 1-2 punch initially of any postseason sequence. The Yankees will already steam into October as betting favorites.
That might make the cash look even smarter.