Mize, Dunning make history in debut face off

August 20th, 2020

and made modern baseball history in their head-to-head MLB debut matchup on Wednesday.

Mize and Dunning both struck out seven in their first career start, with Mize pitching for the Tigers and Dunning for the White Sox during a 5-3 win for Chicago at Guaranteed Rate Field. It's the first time since at least 1901 that two pitchers making their MLB debut in the same game each recorded seven strikeouts.

"I thought that was really neat, really cool how [we were] both making our debut," Dunning said. "Pretty sure we had similar lines, as well. I thought that was really cool how that played out."

Only twice before had two debuting pitchers even reached six strikeouts in the same game. It hadn't happened since Sept. 30, 1962, when Floyd Weaver struck out eight for the Indians and Bobby Darwin struck out six for the Angels in a head-to-head matchup on the last day of the season.

The only other time was on April 19, 1901, when Gene McCann of the Brooklyn Superbas outpitched Happy Townsend of the Phillies, with each striking out six in a 10-2 Brooklyn win.

Both Mize and Dunning are highly rated prospects. The 23-year-old Mize, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 Draft, is Detroit's No. 2 prospect and the No. 8 prospect in baseball. The 25-year-old Dunning, a 2016 first-round pick, is Chicago's No. 8 prospect.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wednesday was the second time since the amateur Draft began in 1965 that first-round picks debuted as starting pitchers against each other. The only other time was on April 9, 2009, when Ricky Romero (sixth overall, 2005) faced off with Rick Porcello (27th overall, '07).

Mize and Dunning each went 4 1/3 innings and allowed three runs in addition to their 7 K's apiece.

"[Dunning] obviously had a very good start, and he was pretty efficient,” Mize said. “We were kind of getting back out there pretty quick with each other. So I think that helped the flow of the game, and that helped us stay in our rhythm.”