As Luis Castillo has done all season, he made it look easy when he took the Dodger Stadium mound in the top of the fifth inning in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
He got a groundout from Miguel Cabrera of Detroit and struck out Kyle Tucker of Houston with a 98-mph fastball that froze Tucker at the bottom of the strike zone.
Cleveland's José Ramrez, a native of Ban, Dominican Republic, ruined the chance for a 1-2-3 inning when he blooped a first-pitch fastball into right centre.
Castillo struck out Minnesota's Luis Arráez on three pitches with a runner on first base.
Arráez has one of the lowest strikeout rates in the Majors, with 28 strikeouts in 348 plate appearances through the first half of the season.
Castillo, who told reporters it was special to be on the All-Star team with Albert Pujols, reached 98 mph with his fastball and drew two whiffs on three swings against his changeup.
"He's been doing it for a long time," Reds Manager David Bell said of Castillo's selection to the All-Star team.
"Every time they face him, the league knows what they're up against." We've known for a while as an organisation, a squad, and a clubhouse.
We all know he's one of the game's top pitchers, if not the best. He's a better person and a better teammate."
Castillo, who struck out two hitters in the 2019 All-Star Game, finished the first half of the season with a 3-4 record and a 2.77 ERA in 13 appearances.