- Nick Castellanos recorded the first out of Game 3 of the World Series against the Houston Astros with a diving catch in right field.
- The defensive play was wildly similar to two other catches he’s already made in the postseason.
- Castellanos was never supposed to be the Phillies everyday right fielder, but he’s been a defensive stalwart.
PHILADELPHIA — Nick Castellanos was never supposed to be the Phillies’ everyday right fielder.
When the team signed Castellanos after his stint with the Reds, the plan was to have Harper hold onto his usual spot in right, with Schwarber and Castellanos trading duties in left field and as designated hitter as necessary.
But after Harper’s mid-season injury left him unable to play the field, Castellanos was moved to right, where he’s been throughout the postseason.
“Baseball happens, and he ended up having that injury, and I gladly accepted the role of just being out there every day,” Castellanos told reporters after Game 1 of the World Series.
While it wasn’t the role that he was initially expected to play, Castellanos has made right field his home through the postseason with solid defensive play, including three nearly identical web gems he’s made at key moments for his team.
The first of Castellanos’ catches came against the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS. With the Phillies leading 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, Braves catcher William Contreras scooped a pitch into shallow right field.
Castellanos got a near-perfect jump on the ball, and slid underneath it just before it hit the ground.
—Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) October 11, 2022
The Phillies held on to win the game.
Just two weeks later, in Game 1 of the World Series, Castellanos made the catch again, sliding in to save a game in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings.
—MLB (@MLB) October 29, 2022
The Phillies went on to win in the 10th inning.
Placed next to each other, the two catches look nearly identical.
—BirdGang🦅 (@GordonsWord) October 29, 2022
On Tuesday night, on the very first swing of Game 3 of the World Series, Castellanos did it again. This time, his catch came in front of a home crowd, which rewarded him greatly for his effort.
—Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) November 2, 2022
At this point, it’s tough to be surprised by Castellanos’ defensive play.
“I see a blooper over to right field, and I picture Nick sliding in and catching it and laying on the ground,” Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm said after the game. “Just, yeah, that’s the picture I see when I see a ball go out there.”
After Houston was able to build out 5-0 leads in both Games 1 and 2 of the Series, stopping them early was a key part of the Phillies game plan on Tuesday night. With Castellanos’ catch in Game 3, he kept the first runner of the game from reaching base. Houston would be shut out for the rest of the game, falling to the Phillies 7-0 and into a 2-1 deficit in the World Series.