In past, we’ve certainly reminded fans not to worry too much about Casey Mize, but in watching him face off against Kenta Maeda tonight — a pitcher who nearly collected a no-hitter this season — the gap is definitely apparent.
Mize started the game well enough with two clean 1-2-3 innings of work, looking very solid indeed. Things started to go afoul for Mize in the third when he started off the inning with a single to Jorge Polanco, then Polanco stole second, and on the next batter, Marwin Gonzalez singled to score Polanco. (drink every time I say Polanco). A Ryan Jeffers single advanced Gonzalez, and then Byron Buxton hit into a fielder’s choice which scored Gonzalez, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead.
The bottom of the fourth started with a walk to Eddie Rosario, and then Jake Cave came in and hit a two-run blast. Mize also managed to hit Gonzalez with a pitch in the inning, but the Twins runs stopped after the Cave home run. In the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers opted to give Mize a bit more time, but it was clear his command was off by this point. He walked Josh Donaldson, then Rosario hit a two-run homer, bringing the score to 6-0.
Before we get to Mize’s final line for the day, let’s please talk about his lovely homage to Ian Kinsler in which he allowed an infield single to drop in an attempt to get a double out at first, but only managed the one runner. (And a reminder that the infield fly rule is only in effect if there’s a force play at third.)
Mize was pulled following the Rosario home run, and his final line for the day was 4.2 IP, 5H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 4K, 2HR on 89 pitches. Decidedly not a super awesome outing, but he did look good initially.
A couple rough in-game injuries to note before we keep going: a foul tip to the inside part of Laz Diaz’s knee behind home plate that looked really rough, and a basepath collision between Eric Haase and Miguel Sano, in which a throw down the first base line found its way into Sanos glove just as Haase ran into him. The ball and glove went flying and Sano fell to the ground in pain but ultimately stayed in the game.
The Tigers decided they didn’t want to have a shutout game, so in the top of the sixth Isaac Paredes singled, then Willi Castro singled, and Miguel Cabrera came in for a three-run home run.
After his 3-run homer tonight, Miguel Cabrera now has more runs scored -- 1,454 -- than any other Venezuelan in MLB history. https://t.co/w48OE50wpp— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) September 24, 2020
Jake Cave struck again in the bottom of the sixth, leading off with a solo home run against reliever Nick Ramirez who had come on in the fifth to get the final out of the inning. In the top of the seventh the Tigers looked poised to make a big statement against Twins reliever Matt Wisler as they quickly loaded the bases, but Wisler was replaced by Tyler Clippard and the inning ended with a classic Tigers Threaten But Do Not Score.
Jorge Alcala became the fourth Twins pitcher of the night, and quickly struck out Miguel Cabrera then walked Jeimer Candelario. Harold Castro singled, advancing Candelario to third. Sadly, once again, they were unable to score.
In the top of the ninth facing off against Caleb Thielbar, Isaac Paredes collected his third hit of the night. As Sergio Romo came on to finish the game I need to thank the Fox broadcast for the wholly unnecessary reminder of Game 4 of the 2012 World Series. But it was almost a sweet kind of justice as Cabrera hit another three-run blast, bringing the score to 7-6.
Miggy went BOOM (again).— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) September 24, 2020
The game ended on the next out, but at least they made it interesting.
On a side note, the Tigers are officially eliminated from postseason contention following the Blue Jays win tonight. Sorry to anyone holding out hope on that longshot.