CAREER HIGH 10 STRIKEOUTS EARNS MIKE DEVINE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION POINTSTREAK PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Mike Devine had everything working on Friday night, July 17. His fastball was getting on top of hitters. The change-up left batters way out in front and the slider was just plain filthy. When all was said and done, Devine struck out a career high 10 over 7.0 innings and because of that he was awarded the American Association Pointstreak Pitcher of the Week for the week of July 13-19.
In Devine’s only start of the week he struck out at least one hitter in each of the seven innings he worked allowing just one run on four hits while walking two and striking out the career high 10 against the Milwaukee Milkmen. His previous career high was eight on July 31, 2014. He allowed just two singles through the first five innings. His only blip came in the sixth when he allowed back-to-back singles and a sacrifice fly. He finished his night by retiring the side in order in the seventh.
On the season, Devine is 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA in three starts. In 17.0 innings pitched he’s walked five and struck out 17 while opponents are hitting .266 against him.
The 30-year-old Devine was one of the best relievers in the American Association last season for the Saints. He went 4-3 with a 2.00 ERA and three saves in 37 relief appearances. In 54.0 innings pitched he walked 20 and struck out 50 while opponents hit just .210 against him. He did not give up an earned run in 28 of 37 appearances and went 13.2 consecutive scoreless innings from May 27-July 14. He pitched two games in the playoffs, both in the North Division Championship Series and went 5.0 scoreless innings allowing just two hits. He was unbelievable in Game 5 going 3.2 scoreless innings, a game the Saints came from behind to win 9-7.
Devine began his career by signing as a free agent with the Traverse City Beach Bums (Independent, Frontier League) out of Virginia Military Institute in 2012. He was 0-0 with a 2.84 ERA and three saves in five relief appearances. In 12.2 innings he didn’t walk a batter and struck out 11 while opponents hit .239 against him. Devine recorded a save in his final three relief appearances and helped guide the Beach Bums to the playoffs where they lost three-games-to-none to the Southern Illinois Miners in the semi-finals.
In 2013 Devine pitched the entire season with the Beach Bums, but this time mostly as a starter. He was 6-2 with a 3.95 ERA in 19 games (15 starts). In 86.2 innings pitched he walked 34 and struck out 65 while opponents hit .254 against him. He finished fifth in the league in win percentage (.750) and once again reached the playoffs, but lost three-games-to-two to the Lake Erie Crushers in the semifinals. Devine’s best performance in the regular season came in his final start allowing one run on four hits in 7.0 innings pitched against the Joliet Slammers. In his lone start of the postseason he pitched 6.0 shutout innings and earned the victory.
Devine began 2014 with the Beach Bums, but was released on June 17 and then signed with the Normal CornBelters in the same league. Between the two teams he was 3-5 with a 5.75 ERA in 15 starts, setting the stage for an incredible 2015 year as a reliever.
Signing as a free agent in the Frontier League with the Lake Erie Crushers in 2015, Devine was the biggest workhorse in the league. Devine went 3-4 with a 3.33 ERA and four saves, pitching in an astounding 60 of the Crushers 95 games. In 78.1 innings pitched he walked 17 and struck out 83 while opponents hit .246 against him. He led the league by eight appearances, pitched on four consecutive days three different times and an amazing six consecutive days from August 4-9. He also pitched in both games of a July 9 doubleheader. Despite the workload Devine didn’t give up an earned run, just one total run, over his final nine relief appearances, 12.1 innings pitched.
All of Devine’s success on the mound was rewarded in 2016 when he began the season with the Crushers and made the All-Star team. He was 7-6 with a 4.56 ERA and three saves in 29 games (nine starts). In 81.0 innings pitched he walked 18 and struck out 67 while opponents hit .274 against him. His ERA, however, was incredible as a reliever where he went 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 20 relief appearances (28.1 IP). He was selected as a Frontier League All-Star and pitched in the game on July 13 in Florence. He didn’t allow a run in seven straight relief appearances (8.0 IP) from May 31-June 10. What was most impressive about that feat was he pitched on six consecutive days during the streak from May 31-June 5. Devine was traded to the Wingnuts in mid-August to strengthen their staff for the playoffs and he went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 10 relief appearances. In 13.0 innings he walked just two and struck out eight while opponents hit .280 against him. The Wingnuts reached the American Association Championship Series, but lost three-games-to-two to the Goldeyes.
Devine was an important reliever for the Wingnuts in 2017 on their road to the American Association Championship Series. He was 3-4 with a 2.25 ERA in 44 games. In 44.0 innings pitched he walked 11 and struck out 34 while opponents hit just .222 against him. He had two separate stints of not giving up a run in seven straight appearances including his final nine (10.0 IP) from August 14-September 4. Devine also went five straight appearances, 5.1 innings pitched, without allowing a run or hit from June 21-July 2. He threw on four consecutive days from June 3-6.
Devine was a workhorse for the Saints in 2018 going 5-4 with a 2.57 ERA and six saves in 49 relief appearances. In 66.2 innings pitched he walked 21, struck out 68, while opponents hit .224 against him. He finished tied for fourth in the league in appearances. Devine had the third longest consecutive scoreless streak in franchise history, 22.0 innings, July 3-August 6. He didn’t give up an earned run in 40 of 49 outings. He was instrumental in the Saints getting to the American Association Championship Series.
Devine graduated from VMI and finished his career second all-time in appearances (90) and saves (15).
This is the first Pitcher or Player of the Week in 2020 for the St. Paul Saints.