It’s safe to say that no pitcher is going to have a good night every single time they take the mound. That’s certainly true of Casey Mize, who has been working consistently to find himself as a major league pitcher, and overall has done a great job of it. All this serves as a polite lead-in to say that tonight was definitely not Mize’s night.
It was pretty apparent in the first inning that things would need to even out fast, because it took Mize 33 pitches to get through the Angels lineup. It started off with an Ohtani single, because it’s Shohei Ohtani so, come on. And naturally Ohtani then successfully stole second base. Look, I’m not going to be mad about it here, the dude is amazing and super fun to watch. Walsh drew a one-out walk. Marsh singled, scoring Ohtani and giving the Angels an early lead. Mayfield walked, but an Adell flyout ended the inning and Mize left the mound a little bruised, but not beaten.
Also this happened.
Sorry, Shohei.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 18, 2021
That's just Miggy being Miggy. pic.twitter.com/Czp0aSe8MZ
He wouldn’t have much time to think about it, though, because the Tigers went down in order in the bottom of the first, and Mize was right back out to pitch. This time Ohtani managed a two-out walk, but he wouldn’t get quite so lucky a second time, as he was caught attempting to steal and ended the inning. The Tigers didn’t gain any ground back in the bottom of the inning, once again going 1-2-3.
The top of the third continued Mize’s bumpy night with a leadoff single to Fletcher, who then reached second on a wild pitch. Walsh drew his second walk of the night, but was soon erased as a baserunner when former Tiger Jose Iglesias grounded into a fielder’s choice. Mayfield singled to score Fletcher, putting the Angels up 2-0. In the bottom of the inning the Tigers got a little zest back as Greiner drew a walk, then Grossman got a walk of his own. It was Schoop who drew first blood for Detroit with a single to score Greiner. For those keeping track we also saw Miggy’s second at-bat of the night, this one an inning-ending strikeout.
Mize got some control back in the fourth, sending the Angels down 1-2-3, but it would be the end of the night for the young starter, with a final line of 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K on 88 pitches. By the numbers, not terrible, but it didn’t look like a particularly good start. As the game rolled into the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers followed suit with the Angels and went down in order.
Kyle Funkhouser came on in relief for the fifth, giving Walsh his third walk of the night, then a single to Iglesias, and Iglesias and Walsh both advanced on a wild pitch from Funkhouser. Thankfully even with two runners in scoring position the Angels weren’t able to do any damage. In the bottom of the fifth Greiner doubled, and then a Grossman single scored Greiner, tying the game 2-2. That spelled the end of the night for Angels starter Dylan Bundy, and reliever Austin Warren came on and quickly gave up a single to Schoop. Warren then pitched to Cabrera and while it wasn’t an intentional walk, it was close enough, with nary a ball coming anywhere near the strike zone. Miggy walked to load the bases, but the inning ended on the next at bat.
Joe Jimenez was up next for the Tigers, and gave up a double to Suzuki and an intentional walk to Ohtani, but no runs scored. The bottom of the sixth saw a Willi Castro two-out single, and Greiner reached on an infield single, but neither man was able to score.
The top of the seventh was certainly interesting, with two outs, Marsh hit a long ball off of Michael Fulmer that was unfortunately fan-grabbing distance, and while it fell back to the field, the interference led to a review play as the umpires tried to determine if it would be called a ground rule double or a triple. It was ultimately ruled a double on review, and one batter later it didn’t matter as the Angels ended the inning scoreless. Once again the Tigers got a free baserunner as Steve Cishek gave up a walk to Cabrera. This one was less obviously intentional but still felt pretty intentional. PITCH TO HIM, YOU COWARDS. The Tigers went back to the dugout scoreless, but Miggy was definitely getting his steps in.
Cisnero was on for the Tigs in the eighth, and while he gave up a single to Lagares, it was all worth it to watch his enthused response to striking out Ohtani to end the inning. The bottom of the eighth was three swinging strikeouts in a row.
Normally I’d say “the Tigers turned it over to Soto to hold on for the win” but then I remembered the game was still tied, so: the Tigers turned it over to Soto to keep the score even, while they hoped to walk it off in the bottom of the inning. Walsh **checks notes to confirm** walked again. Iglesias singled. Mayfield walked to load the bases and then Jo Adell got his first home run of the season in glorious if incredibly disappointing fashion, with a grand slam. Congrats, I guess. Suzuki added insult to injury with a solo shot of his own. Lagares doubled, because this inning is now Purgatory and we are all in it. That would be the end of the night for Soto though, as Ohtani loomed.
Ugh, you guys, this keeps sucking. Ohtani walked, then Lagares scored on a fielding error from Schoop. Score was up to 8-2 with two out. Krol managed to get out of the rest of the inning, but the damage was certainly done with the Angels gaining a six-run lead.
In the bottom of the ninth Reyes got himself a one-out single. Grossman became the inning’s second out. And it was then all up to Schoop whether or not we’d see Miggy again. Sadly, he grounded out, and we were denied an opportunity to get one more chance.
Final: Angels 8, Tigers 2