Nick Castellanos praises Phillies brass after clutch HR, win
Phillies slugger Nick Castellanos ended his homerless streak in a big way.
Philadelphia Phillies fans could not ask for more from outfielder Nick Castellanos during their recently completed six-game road trip against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves.
Before heading west to take on the Phillies’ cross-state rivals, Castellanos was slashing just .246/.291/.365 on the year. A half-dozen games, 25 at-bats, 11 hits, one home run, and five RBI later, the 10-year veteran improved his numbers to .258/.302/.380
Castellano’s performance during Wednesday’s series finale matinee against the reigning World Series champions capped off his excellent road trip. Early on, he made a spectacular sliding catch and drew just his second walk since mid-July. However, with the game tied in the top of the eighth is when the veteran showed signs of his 2021 All-Star, Silver Slugger and top-12 MVP-finishing season.
Facing 2017 World Series champion Collin McHugh — and with the count 2-0 — Castellanos launched a two-run, 420-foot home run to center field. It was just the fourth home run McHugh surrendered all season — and the first since June 21 — out of 36 overall relief appearances.
The home run ended Castellanos’ 26-game homerless streak and put the Phillies ahead late, 3-1. The Rob Thomson-led squad never looked back and secured the two-game series split against the Braves.
In a post-game TV interview, Castellanos was ecstatic not only about his individual performance, but also about what Phillies front office leaders did before Tuesday’s trade deadline — describing the moves as a “testament to the organization.”
"“[It was huge] to be able to round second and see everybody over the rail. We needed it. Obviously, the Braves are a great team. To pull out a win against them is big … The organization has shown its players that it’s about winning, from the moment that I’ve been a part of it. Really, that’s all you can ask for. We are continuously looking to add pieces and looking for ways to get better. Honestly, it makes everybody feel good.”"
Castellanos went on to attribute his recent success at the plate to simply him “doing less” — taking what the pitchers give him and driving base hits to the opposite field.
He added that given the Phillies got their “butts kicked” in the 13-1 series-opener loss to the Braves on Tuesday, to be able to respond, come back, and split the series puts the team in a “good spot.”
Any time the Phillies can put up a 5-1 record on a six-game road trip means some promising games took place, and that is exactly what happened. Now, the Phillies will look forward to a seven-game homestand against the Juan Soto-less Washington Nationals and free-falling Miami Marlins.