It certainly was a different experience for Detroit Tigers RHP Casey Mize last night against the St. Louis Cardinals, and one that he’ll be remembering.
The young Tigers ace earned his first career RBI in his first career MLB at-bat, and did so without even swinging the bat – something that skipper AJ Hinch had sheepishly said the team may not allow him to do in the National League ballpark.
And when he was walked by Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty, he flipped his bat and followed it up with a bow and arrow gesture towards his dugout.
“That’s pretty unlike me, to be honest, to do something like that,” Mize said afterward. “Just in the moment, you know? It is what it is. The bat went a little farther than I intended, but I think the dugout enjoyed it.”
“He let us know,” right fielder Robbie Grossman said of Mize’s flip. “I saw a video of him flipping the bat, but he better enjoy it because if he doesn’t get to pitch in Pittsburgh, it will be the last at-bat he’ll ever get, probably.”
And he backed up his gesture by shutting out the Cardinals through his first five innings of work en route to a 4-3 Tigers win.
“I wasn’t moving quick enough on the mound,” MIze said. “I just seemed real slow and lethargic on the mound. We were working on moving quicker over the rubber, just trying to be a little bit more explosive, and I felt like I was driving the ball a little bit better tonight, so definitely felt better there.”
Of course, he did get a congratulatory text from his high school coach, who let him know the last time he stepped up to the plate was six and a half years prior.
“He better enjoy it because if he doesn’t pitch in Pittsburgh (in September), it’ll be the last at-bat he’ll ever get,” Grossman said with a smile.
– – Quotes via The Detroit Free Press Link – –