The Detroit Tigers improved to 2-1 in Grapefruit League play, earning a 6-1 decision over the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida.
RHP Casey Mize made his debut, throwing 45 pitches in an abbreviated start and earned two strikeouts (three walks) while not giving up any hits.
“It felt great, and I thought (my) stuff was really good,” Mize said. “I definitely had three walks, which I’m not happy about, but it didn’t feel like I didn’t have control of anything. Trying to overpower guys just led to a few misfires.”
Mize was also happy to be able to perform in front of fans.
“I was just super happy to be in front of fans again,” Mize exclaimed. “That was just such a pleasure and man, I’m never going to take fans for granted ever again.”
Skipper A.J. Hinch was mostly pleased with Mize’s performance, though there were a few kinks still to be worked out.
“He threw the ball well,” Hinch said. He got a little excited trying to punch a few guys out and got a little erratic late, but did a good job of getting the two strikes.”
“He has the ability of our guys to be the most unpredictable given that he’s got a lot of weapons and when to use them. I know he expects perfection out of himself, but it was a solid outing, albeit with too many walks.”
Is Hinch concerned that Mize threw nearly 50 pitches over the course of just two innings?
“We can also do extra work in the bullpen if he needs more volume. You practice like you play. It’s going to happen, you have to grind out some long at-bats…they fouled off a bunch of pitches. You don’t need to be perfect, it’s a learning experience. You have to roll with it and find a way to get your team as deep as you can.”
For Mize, he wasn’t happy with the walks, but felt that he was in control.
“I felt great,” he said. “My stuff was really good and it wasn’t like I was spraying (pitches). The three walks I wasn’t happy about, but it didn’t feel like I didn’t have control. I felt like I did have my control.”
The Tigers will next take on the Phillies Wednesday in Lakeland.
– – Quotes via Chris McCoskey of The Detroit News Link – –