No-no on 98 pitches? He's No. 1 pick for reason

April 30th, 2019

Casey Mize certainly knows how to make a first impression.

After dominating through four starts with Class A Advanced Lakeland, the Tigers’ No. 1 prospect (No. 16 in MLB) was promoted and promptly threw a no-hitter in his debut with Double-A Erie on Monday.

"I feel great," Mize said. "It was definitely one of those days where it felt like autopilot."

Mize, whom the Tigers selected No. 1 overall out of Auburn during the 2018 Draft, led the SeaWolves to a 1-0 win over the Altoona Curve (Pirates) at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona, Pa.

"He came out on all cylinders, man," Jake Rogers, the catcher, said. "Ever since the first inning he came out and he was getting guys out, making guys kind of look silly. Ever since then I knew if we just attacked them, something special was going to happen."

The no-hitter marked the fourth in SeaWolves history and the second of the season as Alex Faedo, the Tigers’ No. 10 prospect, threw seven innings of a combined no-hitter on April 24.

Erie’s lone run came in the fifth inning when Chad Sedio drove home Rogers via a groundout to first base.

Mize, who does boast plus command, hit the first batter of the game, but quickly found the zone. After putting the leadoff man on, Mize retired 19 in a row before issuing a two-out walk in the seventh. The 21-year-old finished off the seventh and then retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth innings to complete the no-hitter.

"The fastball command was not good, the worst it's been all year," Mize said. "I'll say that with complete confidence. You can go look at the video. It wasn't good. I threw a ton of cutters and just relied on that and I was just able to throw that for a strike and in a lot of counts."

Not only did Mize throw a no-hitter, but he did so efficiently, needing just 98 pitches (70 strikes), including a four-pitch sixth inning, to spin the first complete game of his career.

"He's smart up there," Rogers said. "He knows what he wants to do, he trusted me a little bit tonight and we just went after it. He just commands all pitches and he went after guys."

Prior to his promotion to Erie, Mize had gone 2-0 with a 0.35 ERA through four starts with Lakeland. In those starts, a total of 26 innings, the right-hander gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out 25.