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The Seattle Mariners defeated the Detroit Tigers by a 5-0 score on Saturday afternoon (box score), improving their record to 19-18 on the season. The win puts the Mariners on the right side of .500 for the first time since Opening Day. In the time since, they've fluctuated between even or slightly below, depending on the day. The Mariners can credit young starter Bryce Miller for much of Saturday's victory. 

Miller, 24, threw another gem in his third career big-league attempt. This go-around, he held the Tigers to no runs on three hits and no walks over seven innings. He struck out three batters on 82 pitches. Miller had surrendered one run on four hits and a walk through his first two starts. As it turns out, that gives him a slice of history. According to's Sarah Langs, Miller's eight total baserunners allowed in his first three career outings is the fewest since at least 1901, minimum 15 innings pitched.

What's more, per Langs, is that Miller's streak of three consecutive six-plus-inning starts with fewer than three baserunners allowed is tied for the longest such streak since 1901. Blake Snell and Corbin Burnes were the most recent to pull off similar streaks. Both Snell and Burnes recorded theirs back in 2021.

Miller's effectiveness hinges on his mid-90s fastball. Including Saturday's start, he's thrown it 63% of the time. (His slider, at just over 20%, is the only other pitch with a usage rate north of 15%.) Miller's fastball has generated 24% whiffs and 36% chases. The raw characteristics of the pitch, meanwhile, are quite strong. Take a look at where he ranks in velocity, induced vertical break, and other key traits compared to the fastballs of qualified MLB pitchers:

StatMillerMLB average

Average velocity

95.5 mph

94 mph


19.9 inches

16.2 inches

Average spin

2,605.5 rpm

2,295.2 rpm

Break 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. Additionally, his fastball comes closer to the idyllic "12:00" break tilt that corresponds with perfect backspin. Factor in his flatter approach angle, and his fastball is an optical nightmare for hitters attempting to square the pitch up.

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 hinged on his command and projected that "he could become an above-average starter if they stick, or he could be a high-octane reliever if not." So far, so good.