He’s due to pitch one more road game this weekend but the Mariners are planning to honor James Paxton Fri., May 18, at Safeco Field. This, after he pitched a no-hitter this week in Toronto. It was just the sixth no-hitter in Mariners' history.
We learn more from KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel and Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.
'A Long Time Coming'
Thiel said it finally seems to be Paxton's time.
"He has had the worst luck, I think, of any of the Mariner regular starters, mostly because of injuries," Thiel said. "He's had torn fingernails and, kind of, odd things that have happened to him."
"It's really limited his effectiveness. I think it's probably surprising to fans who follow the Mariners on a regular basis that Paxton has been around since 2014, he started that year as a rookie and had four games, but in all that time he's only had 31 Major League wins. The no-hitter was his 32nd."
"A lot of people are looking forward to that being a breakthrough for him because it follows on a great game he had in the previous outing when he struck out 16 Oakland A's batters at Safeco Field on May 2."
"These back-to-back games might be the two best games any pitcher for the Mariners has ever had. It also showed that he has a different way to win a game. It doesn't have to be overpowering, 100 m.p.h. fastballs. He can win it with a breaking pitch."
"I think it's the breakthrough that everybody's been hoping for because he really does have both great command and great movement on his pitches," Thiel said about Paxton's no-hitter and previous 16-strikeout game.
"He just needs health. He just needs the confidence that can come from something like this to say that he is a legit threat to be the ace and come out every game and come up with a method of pitching and an effectiveness that can truly dominate."