Mariners rookie Bryce Miller breaks record since 1901 as he holds off Tigers to send Seattle above .500

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By Webdesk

The Seattle Mariners defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-0 (box score) on Saturday afternoon, improving their record for the season to 19-18. The win puts the Mariners on the good side of .500 for the first time since Opening Day. Since then, they have fluctuated between even or slightly lower depending on the day. The Mariners can credit young starter Bryce Miller with much of Saturday’s victory.

The 24-year-old Miller threw another gem in his third career major league effort. This go-around held the Tigers to no runs on three hits and no walks for seven innings. He struckout three batters on 82 pitches. Miller had surrendered one run on four hits and a walk in his first two starts. As it turns out, that gives him a piece of history. According to’s Sarah Langs, Miller’s number of baserunners allowed in his first three career outings is the fewest since at least 1901, a minimum of 15 innings pitched..

What’s more, according to Langs, Miller’s streak of three consecutive six-plus-inning starts with fewer than three runners allowed is tied for the longest streak since 1901. Blake Snell and Corbin Burnes were the most recent to achieve similar streaks. Both Snell and Burnes have recorded theirs in 2021.

Miller’s effectiveness depends on his mid-90s fastball. Including Saturday’s start, he has thrown it 63% of the time. (His slider, at just over 20%, is the only other pitch with a utilization rate north of 15%.) Miller’s fastball generated 24% whiffs and 36% chases. The pitch’s raw features, meanwhile, are pretty strong. See where he ranks in speed, induced vertical break, and other key attributes compared to the fastballs of qualified MLB pitchers:

Average speed




19.9 inches

16.2 inches

Average spin

2,605.5 rpm

2,295.2 rpm

Break the tilt



Vertical approach angle

-4.43 degrees

-4.79 degrees

In plain words, Miller’s fastball comes in hotter and with more rising action than the average fastball. Plus, his fastball gets closer to the idyllic “12:00” break-tilt that matches a perfect backspin. Factor in his flatter approach angle, and his fastball is an optical nightmare for hitters trying to move the field higher.

Miller entered the spring ranked by CBS Sports as the No. 3 prospect in the Mariners system. We noted at the time that his future depended on his command and predicted that “he could become an above-average starter if they stick around, or he could be a high-octane reliever if they didn’t.” So far, so good.

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