Mize caps off rookie year in Tigers’ loss

Detroit Tigers

MINNEAPOLIS — The mound visit from Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter after just four batters was an obviously bad sign for Casey Mize‘s 30th and final start of the season. The former top overall pick had given up back-to-back singles, a three-run home run, then another single. Fetter’s trip wasn’t to let Mize catch his breath, but to make Mize catch Fetter’s point.

Four innings later, as Mize received his customary end-of-outing handshake from manager A.J. Hinch and a line of congratulations in the Tigers dugout, he had ended his season on a high note, even if the decision was ultimately the same in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Twins.

Mize’s season finale showed many of the strengths and weaknesses that he had worked with all year, and further demonstrated the adjustments that he’ll be trying to make this offseason. Three of his hits in a 31-pitch opening inning came in two-strike counts, including a Byron Buxton infield single after the Twins star worked out of an 0-2 hole to force a full count. He leaned heavily on his fastball and slider, including a center-cut first-pitch sinker that Jorge Polanco drove out to center for a three-run homer, and didn’t show much conviction with the rest of his arsenal.

Normally, Hinch has been pulling Mize after three innings as part of conserving his innings workload. The 31-pitch first inning made that seem inevitable, but Mize was so efficient from there that Hinch gave him the extra inning, allowing him to finish with 150 1/3 innings for his official rookie season. If Tarik Skubal gets four innings in Thursday’s series finale, the Tigers will have two rookies pitch 150+ innings in the same season for the first time since Ray Bare and Vern Ruhle in 1975.

Articles You May Like

Tigers Minor League Report Podcast with Brandon Day
Max Clark’s three hit day powers Lakeland
Series Preview: Detroit Tigers hit the road to face Minnesota Twins this weekend
Injury Notes: Albies, Suzuki, Basabe, Gipson-Long
Rangers 1, Tigers 0: Tigers Threaten But Do Not Win

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *