Dane Cooks And 5 Grand Things From Wednesday

Casey Mize makes Tigers history, but Dane Dunning ably defends himself.

The kids came out to play on Wednesday night. Two rookie hurlers faced off in the first of many future AL Central showdowns. Kyle Tucker had a cycle in hand, but there’s no slowing progress. Line drives, dugout dives, rare feats, Winker eats, and bodies were flying everywhere. But what did you expect?

This is Wednesday baseball.


Dane Cooks, Feeds Heat, But The Tigers Send It Back


There was nothing funny about the effort put forth by Dane Dunning in his major-league debut on Wednesday. The Great Dane is the final piece of the Adam Eaton trade (joining Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito), and he might be the best of the bunch.

Okay, probably not, but he’s top two or three for sure. Either way, the battle is on, and he’s going to have to defend himself. 

Not a problem:



That pitch came howling back at Dunning at 104.1 mph. He’s a little paranoid in the immediate aftermath, but wouldn’t you be?

After all that, how’s your heart rate, Dane?


That’s totally fair. You had a big day. Speaking of…


Debut Showdown: Casey Mize vs. Dane Dunning


We know debuts have become more-or-less boilerplate this season, but this showdown was special. Check it.

In this corner:


And in this corner:


Mize: 4 ⅓ inning 7 hits 3 earned runs 7 strikeouts 0 walks, 11 swinging strikes

Dunning: 4 ⅓ innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 7 strikeouts, 1 walk, 17 swinging strikes

Mize became the first pitcher in Tigers’ history to strike out 7 without walking a batter in his debut. Hasn’t been done in the majors at all since Stephen Strasburg who – nervitis aside – has turned out pretty good. But don’t take my word for it: check Casey’s debut one GIF at a time. 




The NBA is back, and that means flopping. But come on: It’s not always a foul.

This one was, but the Yankees utilized their Giolocation device and brought it back:

We should hear the other side of the argument. When flopping does warrant a whistle, the question must be asked: offense or defense?

Unclear, but it deserved a whistle. Gotta stop play after that debacle. (Not much better than a good baseball blooper though, amiright?)


The Dark Knight Rises, Bested By Two-Face


There was more going on in this game between the Reds and Royals, but I’m not going to dignify that particular moment with commentary. It was horrendous.

On the positive side: Matt Harvey is back in the big leagues! He started the second game of Wednesday’s twin bill with the Reds. The newest Royal took the loss after giving up three earned runs in three innings.

But at least he had the support of his friends. Here he is striking out former teammate Jesse Winker.

Winker seemed like a friend, but then he turned around and homered off Harvey – not very friendly at all. The consolation for Harvey is that it’s not personal: Winker’s hurt a lot of pitchers this year. He isn’t a household name yet (full disclosure: I was calling him Kyle Winkler in my head for like an hour), but if he keeps ripping at this pace, he’s going to be: .365/.484/.712 with an unreal 214 wRC+ through 20 games.

There’s a pun in here somewhere about Harvey Dent, but I can’t find it. Instead, take a look at the two sides of Winker:

2019: 1.0 fWAR, 113 games, 384 plate appearances

2020: 1.0 fWAR, 20 games, 64 plate appearances

The Dark Knight might be back, but it’s Winker who’s on the rise.


Kyle Tucker Cycles Through His Checklist, Forgets To Double


Kyle Tucker did something on Wednesday night that only 20 players have done since 1901.

Two triples? Just slow down, Kyle! You don’t need that extra base. Unless…wait a minute…is a triple better than a double?

This is amazing, but I still struggle to get excited about the Astros. Let’s move along.


Dancing Friars


I could show you Jurickson Profar and Fernando Tatis Jr. going back-to-back, but here’s a better idea: let the kids dance.


In the bottom of the tenth inning, the Padres put together a heck of a series of ABs to wear down Rangers’ closer Rafael Montero. After laboring through 42 pitches, Montero blew the save in glorious fashion. Here’s how it happened:

A ghost committed an error allowing Profar to reach second base. A sacrifice bunt got him to third. Trent Grisham turned a 1-2 count into a 3-2 walk. Then Tatis fouled off four straight to earn a 3-2 walk. Then Manny Machado worked an 8-pitch at-bat. It ended well for him.

Now let’s walk this off.

TC Zencka

TC Zencka contributes regularly to Pitcher List, and MLB Trade Rumors. Come say hi on Twitter.

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