Nick Castellanos' walk-off single gives Phillies 4-3 win over Pirates

Alex Coffey, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Baseball

PHILADLEPHIA — This has not been an easy few weeks for Nick Castellanos but he has been grinding, and finally, on Saturday at Citizens Bank Park, he had a breakthrough. In the bottom of the ninth, with runners on second and third and one out, Castellanos launched a single that flew over the head of Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Jack Suwinski. It scored Whit Merrifield to give the Phillies a 4-3 walk-off win.

Castellanos celebrated in the outfield, giving each of his teammates a hug before returning to the dirt outside the dugout, where he was splashed with water by his teammates. He finished his day with a few hard-hits balls, going 2 for 5 with two RBI and two strikeouts.

Turnbull struggles

Starter Spencer Turnbull had the first tough outing of his Phillies tenure, allowing three earned runs on four hits with four walks, three strikeouts and a hit-by-pitch. Two of those earned runs came on a two-run shot he allowed to Oneil Cruz in the fifth inning to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead.

His command was not as strong as it had been in his past two outings. Only 48 of Turnbull’s 88 pitches were strikes. If it were another starter, the Phillies might have given him a longer leash, but they are going to be cautious with Turnbull’s workload. He did not spend all of spring training building up to be a starter, even though that’s where he’s pitched his entire career. He’s also struggled with injuries over the past few seasons, which is another reason to monitor his workload.

Matt Strahm took over for Turnbull in the fifth, with a runner on first and no outs. He retired his next six hitters, five of them on strikeouts. Strahm has yet to allow a walk or a run this season. Gregory Soto pitched the seventh, allowing one hit and one walk, and José Alvarado entered in the eighth inning, retiring the Pirates 1-2-3 with one strikeout.

Jeff Hoffman pitched the ninth, retiring the Pirates in order with one strikeout.


Good day for Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber reached base in all five of his at-bats. He finished his day going 3 for 3 with an RBI, two walks and a home run, against left-handed pitching no less.

Good catch for Castellanos

Castellanos made a nice defensive play in right field in the third inning. Alika Williams drove a fly ball 352 feet, and Castellanos jumped to catch it at the wall.

He’s been working with first base coach Paco Figueroa nearly every day on barehanded drills to improve his hand-eye coordination. Figueroa has been shooting foam balls at Castellanos pregame, and Castellanos has been catching them.

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