In the 9th start of his career, Casey Mize, the number one overall pick by the Detroit Tigers in the 2018 MLB draft, earned win number one in the 6-2 over the Houston Astros to end a four-game losing streak.
Mize dominated the Astros hitters for the longest outing of his career with a four-pitch mix of a fastball, slider, sinker, and the split-finger fastball, which produced a lot of movement, which we will discuss shortly.
The Astros offense heading into the game was ranked third in fWAR at 2.7, with a team batting average of .280 in the young season but Casey Mize was ready, as he worked seven shutout innings, which was the longest of his career. Other stats about Casey Mize’s start:
- He allowed just four hits, but what stood out was Mize’s strike-throwing. He threw 89 pitches, 62 of them were for strikes.
- 11 groundball outs.
- 4 strikeouts, 2 walks.
- Generated five whiffs
His split-finger. which was such a good pitch, was actually his best second pitch on the evening. His slider generated 8 called strikes + whiffs while his split-finger generated 6. The four-seamer fastball touched at 97 but what stands out even more about the split-finger fastball percentage usage was an increase from his first start and during the broadcast, they discussed how he was throwing two different types of splitters, with one having a wider grip.
The Detroit Tigers as a collective looked like a different ballclub than the one that was swept in Cleveland this evening as the bottom of the order all hit home runs, including a 450-foot home run by Akil Baddoo, who has already two barrels on the season and Renato Nunez had his first hit and home run in a Tigers uniform.
But the night belonged to Casey Mize, who earned his first major league victory. On a night that manager A.J Hinch got a huge standing ovation from the Houston crowd, Detroit Tiger fans everywhere gave their own loud cheer.