Colorado Rockies morning after: Rookie’s stellar debut paces historic win

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 08: Starting pitcher Ryan Castellani #60 of the Colorado Rockies delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August, 8, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 08: Starting pitcher Ryan Castellani #60 of the Colorado Rockies delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August, 8, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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Ryan Castellani’s debut for the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night in Seattle against the Mariners could not have gone much better, for the pitcher or the team.

Castellani threw four innings of no-hit baseball as the Colorado Rockies secured its fifth series win in its first five series of the season with a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Saturday. With the win, Colorado improved to 11-3 and stayed at the top of the National League West.

While Charlie Blackmon and Daniel Murphy continued to rake at the plate, the story of the night was Castellani. The 24-year-old right-hander was announced as Saturday’s starter on Friday as Chi Chi Gonzalez was sent to the 10-day injured list. Filling in in the fifth starter spot, Castellani showed in his Major League debut that he has Major League stuff.

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Castellani needed just three pitches to strike out Seattle’s J.P. Crawford to open the Mariners’ night. That would be one of three strikeouts posted by Castellani, who didn’t allow a baserunner until the bottom of the fifth. That was when he plunked Kyle Seager to open the frame and then followed that with his only walk of the night, issuing five-pitch free pass to Daniel Vogelbach.

At 60 pitches following the walk to Vogelbach, manager Bud Black felt it was time to pull Castellani. Walking off the mound with a no-hitter, Castellani will have to wait until next week for an opportunity at his first Major League win.

"“I couldn’t have pictured it any better in my head,” Castellani said of his MLB debut. “This is something I thought about my whole life. I’m going to cherish it for the rest of my life.”"

Jeff Hoffman continued his unblemished streak on the mound, taking over for Castellani and getting a quick double play and groundout to end the scoring threat. Hoffman would pick up the win with three innings of relief, extending his scoreless streak out of the bullpen to begin the season to 4.2 frames.

Hoffman, however, would surrender Seattle’s first hit of the night in the next frame on a single from Crawford. However, that would be the only hit for the Mariners the entire night as Castellani, Hoffman, Yency Almonte, and Philip Diehl would combine on the franchise’s fifth combined one-hitter and sixth overall one-hitter.

Castellani said after the game that Diehl has been his throwing partner during the reboot of summer camp, so to have him finish the game was a fitting ending.

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Pitching has been one of the biggest keys to Colorado’s success through the season’s first 14 games. In a season filled with great stories for the Rockies, another chapter was added on Saturday night in Seattle.

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