Image credit: Casey Mize (Photo by Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)
The arrival of righthander Casey Mize gives Erie one of the best starting rotations in the minors. Mize put an exclamation point on that point in his Double-A debut. Mize threw the Seawolves’ second no-hitter of the week, as he held Altoona hitless in a dominating, complete game performance on Monday, April 29.
It was the first nine-inning, complete-game no-hitter by any pitcher since Lakewood’s Spencer Howard did it last September. It was also Erie’s second no-hitter of the past week. Alex Faedo, the Tigers’ first-round pick in 2016, combined with Drew Carlton on a no-hitter on April 24.
Mize led off the bottom of the first by hitting Jared Oliva, but he quickly erased him with a double play. Mize walked Bligh Madris with two outs in the seventh, but quickly struck out Logan Hill to finish that inning.
When he walked, Madris was the only batter who worked a count to three balls all night.
Mize consistently filled the strike zone. He needed only 98 pitches, and two of his 28 balls were automatic balls when Mize failed to beat the pitch clock. He struck out seven.
Mize’s splitter is one of the best pitches in the minors, earning 70 grades from scouts. Altoona’s hitters never figured out how to handle it. But he also mixed in his breaking ball as well.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft has now allowed only one run in 35 innings this season for a barely perceptible 0.26 ERA. He has struck out 32 and walked two, and he’s allowed only seven hits. Mize is now part of a rotation that also includes Faedo and fellow first-round pick Matt Manning.
This is Mize’s second no-hitter in the past two years. Pitching for Auburn while in college, he no-hit Northeastern on March 9, 2018.
In a postgame interview posted by the Erie Seawolves, Mize credited his teammates for helping make the no-hitter possible.
“I give a lot of credit to (catcher) Jake Rogers. He called a hell of a game,” Mize said. “My fastball command wasn’t great, which I think might have been because of some nerves.”
— Erie SeaWolves (@erie_seawolves) April 30, 2019