SEATTLE – Those were eight strong innings James Paxton pitched on Sunday afternoon, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was told, and he had to issue a correction.
“Actually,” McClendon said, “that’s 20 strong innings.”
Actually, he’s right.
Paxton pitched deeper into Sunday’s game at Safeco Field than he had in any of his previous 24 Major League starts, throwing eight scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox in a 5-0 Seattle victory before a crowd of 39,936.
He commanded his fastball, which topped out at 98 miles per hour and didn’t lose any velocity throughout the game. He mixed off-speed pitches in when he had to, catcher Mike Zunino said.
And because he did, Paxton’s scoreless innings streak now sits at 20, as McClendon so deftly noted, which is the longest scoreless innings streak by a Mariners pitcher this season. The 26-year-old left-hander hasn’t allowed a run since the second inning of his start against the Los Angeles Angels on May 5.
This is the version of Paxton that McClendon has been clamoring for. All this after he posted a 6.86 ERA in his first four starts of the season.
“All it is,” Paxton said, “is attacking. He wants to see me attack and see me compete, and that’s what I’m trying to do out there.”
“Hitting is real hard,” McClendon told him. “Don’t make it easier.” Read more »