Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize carved up New York despite no-decision

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The 24-year old phenom, Casey Mize, remained hot as he faced the Bronx Bombers for the first time in his young career Friday evening.  The Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees squared off in Comerica Park on a cold, fall-like evening despite the calendar indicating we’re only a couple of days away from the beginning of June.  Welcome to Michigan.

The Detroit Tigers walked off the Yankees 3-2 behind a Robbie Grossman two-run bomb to left field in the 10th inning.

Entering the evening, Detroit’s brightest arm took a five-start hot steak into Friday’s contest, knowing he’d be opposed by one of the league’s best in Gerrit Cole.  Mize paced the Detroit Tigers behind five strong innings, only yielding a single run which came courtesy of Rougned Odor’s solo home run to right field.

The disappointing thing about the home run had been the fact that Mize had the veteran left-handed-hitting Odor buried in with an 0-2 count and left a pitch spinning over the heart of the plate.  Catcher Jake Rogers wanted the pitch up and out of the zone, but Mize couldn’t get it there, and when that happens at the pro level, it typically ends up in the seats somewhere.

Mize entered the evening with a 3-3 record but an impressive 2.25 ERA combined over his last five starts to go with a batting average against of .152 over that span and a sub 1 WHIP.

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The Detroit Tigers’ top pitching prospect, Casey Mize, was just as advertised Friday evening, facing a good-hitting New York Yankees lineup.

Some people refuse to call Mize a prospect now that he’s 24-years old, plus he’s now established himself in the big leagues.

Despite exiting the contest with a no-decision, Mize fanned a career-high seven hitters, including a two-time batting champ in D.J. LeMahieu three times through his five innings of work. The young right-hander also fanned the powerful Giancarlo Stanton three times.

Mize only lasted five due to a high pitch count as the Yankees hitters remained patient all evening as they battled deep into hitters counts.  Mize also started the evening struggling to find his rhythm misfiring. Each of New York’s first three batters worked Mize to a ball three count.

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch opted to keep Mize in the dugout after just five innings of work, leaving him with a 97 pitch outing as he gave way to Kyle Funkhouser in a 1-1 contest.

A couple of positive observations I took away from Mize’s start Friday were that he didn’t walk a single hitter despite entering the night having granted 20 free passes on the season.  Mize also appeared emotionless fanning Stanton in a big spot to end the fifth inning walking off the mound like he’s done it 3,000 times at the big-league level.

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Mize was mix and matching his stuff all evening as his May numbers finish like this; 20 strikeouts, 10 walks, an ERA of 1.73 with a 0.85 WHIP in 26 innings of work.  He’s having a superb season and appears to be transitioning into the top starter on this Tigers club right before our very eyes.