DETROIT – If you’ve been waiting to see why Casey Mize was drafted No. 1 overall, or why he was considered a top 10 prospect in baseball, Monday night was your first true glimpse.
Mize was dazzling against the Houston Astros, hurling seven shutout innings while allowing just four hits and two walks. He only recorded five strikeouts, but more importantly, the rookie worked efficiently and found a way to give the Tigers a long outing.
In the end, Mize earned his first MLB win and helped the Tigers snap a four-game losing streak that dated back to the last time he took the mound.
Monday was a welcome sight for Tigers fans after they watched Mize allow 22 earned runs in 28.1 innings in 2020. He finished the shortened season with a 6.99 ERA, 6.47 FIP and 1.482 WHIP in seven starts.
His first start of 2021 was a bit better. Mize held the potent Minnesota Twins lineup to just one run on five hits and two walks. The problem was he threw 82 pitches and lasted just four innings.
This was a much different story. After a long first inning that saw him walk the first and third batters of the game, and a second inning in which the first two batters reached, Mize settled in nicely.
He retired the Astros in order in the third, fifth and sixth innings. He allowed just a single in the fourth and a double in the seventh.
Thanks to an early four runs from the offense against Houston’s Zack Greinke, Mize was able to live in the strike zone and breeze through a loaded lineup. The Tigers hope Monday can act as a stepping stone for Mize, who has enough raw talent to be a top-of-the-rotation starter.