Dylan Cease has given the Detroit Tigers fits since his major league debut in 2019. This season, they haven’t even scored against him.
The Tigers will try once again to solve the Chicago White Sox right-hander when they face Cease for the second time in less than a week. Cease (4-2, 3.36 ERA) is scheduled to start the second game of a three-game series in Detroit on Saturday.
Cease won his major league debut against the Tigers in July 2019. Cease has now recorded seven of his 13 career victories against the Tigers and has been the winning pitcher every time he has faced them.
Two of those starts have come this season. On April 29, he tossed a three-hit shutout in a seven-inning game, when he struck out nine and didn’t issue a walk.
In Chicago on June 6, Cease once again held the Tigers scoreless for seven innings. He gave up five hits and one walk while recording 10 strikeouts.
That start came after he surrendered six runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings on June 1 in Cleveland.
“Both his curveball and slider were elite,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said after Cease’s most recent win. “He was in complete control of both, which made him in complete control of the game.”
Cease threw more curveballs than he had all season to complement his fastball, slider and changeup.
“Came in with a good plan, and to execute that many pitches is what I’m here for,” Cease said.
Jose Urena will once again oppose Cease. Following a short stint on the injured list due to a forearm cramp, Urena gave up three runs on six hits in five innings on June 6. All the runs came in the second inning.
“I felt a little bit out of control in the first, but I had to keep on the plan and keep attacking,” Urena said. “The slider came back good in the last couple of innings, but it was wild at first. For me, I have to keep my focus and stay under control and start to get early contact.”
Urena (2-5, 4.25) had a much stronger outing against the White Sox on April 27 when he held them to one earned run in seven innings.
Danny Mendick had two hits and an RBI in Chicago’s series-opening win on Friday, 5-4 in 10 innings. Along with Leury Garcia, Mendick is replacing Nick Madrigal at second base. Madrigal was placed on the 60-day injured list this week due to a torn hamstring.
“He has been preparing himself for this every day since we saw him in January,” manager Tony La Russa said. “He’s never been not ready, so we’re very comfortable that he’ll make all the plays and get some big base hits as well.”
The silver lining for the Tigers was Daz Cameron’s first career homer, a two-run, game-tying blast in the bottom of the ninth off White Sox closer Liam Hendriks.
“He’s one of the elite closers in the game, and he’s going to throw it plenty hard,” Hinch said. “(If) you get the barrel on it, it’s going to go a long way. I’m probably more proud that he didn’t overswing. You didn’t see him out of control or out of posture. He just stayed in the batter’s box, took a nice swing and the ball flew out of the ballpark.”
–Field Level Media