The Seattle Mariners rookie pitcher Bryce Miller made history on Thursday night, breaking a record that had been held since 1901 while leading his team to a crucial win over the Detroit Tigers. Miller stymied the Tigers’ offense, allowing just one hit over six scoreless innings to help Seattle clinch a 4-1 victory and move above .500 for the first time since April.
The 22-year-old right-hander became the first pitcher since the turn of the century to record four strikeouts in his major league debut while pitching solely in relief. Miller, who was drafted in the fourth round out of Texas A&M last year, struck out Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton, Spencer Torkelson, and Isaac Paredes in a dominant display at Comerica Park.
Miller’s performance was not only impressive in its own right, but it was also crucial for the Mariners as they try to stay in the race for a playoff spot in the highly competitive American League West. Seattle entered Thursday’s game on a four-game losing streak, and the team’s pitching had been a weak point throughout the season.
But Miller’s outing provided a much-needed spark, as he mixed a high-90s fastball with a devastating slider to keep the Tigers off balance. He threw 46 pitches, 33 of which were strikes, and did not walk a batter.
After the game, Miller was understandably thrilled with his performance. “It’s kind of surreal,” he said. “You dream about stuff like this your entire life and for it to finally happen, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Miller’s teammates were just as impressed. “He was outstanding,” said catcher Tom Murphy. “Just attacking the zone, throwing strikes, and being really aggressive. Hats off to him.”
The Mariners will now head to Cleveland for a three-game series against the Indians, hoping to build on the momentum they gained from Miller’s record-breaking debut. If Seattle’s pitching continues to perform like it did on Thursday, the team could be in for a successful second half of the season.