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Collapsed Phillies veteran becomes emotional after winning goal

While the Philadelphia Phillies win almost every day and have the best record in baseball, Nick Castellanos often seems like the only guy not invited to the party. He is one of the few Phillies who is struggling and is having the worst season of his 12-year career.

The two-time All-Star just wasn’t himself in the batter’s box and perhaps started to slow down at age 32. Despite a recent hot streak, he still entered Tuesday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers hitting a paltry .212/ .271/.338 — all career lows. He has more strikeouts than hits and has been caught stealing more times than he has been successful.

In other words, not much has gone right for Castellanos this year.

However, that finally changed on Tuesday evening. With the score tied at 1-1 and runners on first and second base, Castellanos stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning, with no one out and a chance to be the hero.

Castellanos did not disappoint. He ripped a game-winning double to right field from Joel Payamps, sending the 40,632 fans at Citizens Bank Park into a frenzy.

During Castellanos’ postgame interview, teammates Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott doused him with a nasty mixture of water, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and other unknown substances.

Soaking wet but unfazed, the veteran outfielder continued his interview, even getting a little emotional when talking about his teammates.

“Honestly, it’s just amazing,” Castellanos said. “This is by far the best team I’ve ever been on and I’m really enjoying it.”

That means a lot coming from Castellanos, who played on a number of stacked Detroit Tigers teams with Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera early in his career. He also played for a talented Chicago Cubs team in 2019 and for the last two Phillies squads, both of which went deep into the postseason.

Castellanos’ individual performances may not be where he wants them to be, but winning is a great panacea. It’s hard to be in too deep when you’re winning every night.

Maybe Castellanos’ big hit will be the spark he needs to finally get him going. He has now hit safely in six of his last seven games, pushing his average above the Mendoza Line to .214. If he gets hot and plays to his potential, Philadelphia’s high-powered lineup will be even more dangerous.

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