The Seattle Mariners are 12-6 on the road this year. They are only 8-8 at home. That’s the flip of what we usually think of a successful team. But at least they’re winning somewhere. I’d like to make a really big deal about it, but Houston is 10-9 at home and 12-6 on the road and the Angels are only 8-10 at home and a blistering 13-3 away from the Big A. Interesting observation. I have no way to account for, but sure think it’s interesting that the best teams in the West are simply meh at home and hot on the road.
And the M’s added to their success tonight, shutting out the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre 5-0. Yeah, I know I haven’t said it. James Paxton threw a no-hitter in Toronto tonight. Made the Jays look silly. He wasn’t K-man as he was in his last outing, when he struck out 16 A’s. But his complete game white-wash required only 99 pitches. In the ninth inning he threw a 100 mph fastball.
I managed to miss a lot of this, but caught the last few innings on radio and the ninth on television. It was a pleasure to watch.
I’ve said some shitty things about Paxton the past couple of years. I’m not sure they’re untrue, just ungenerous. He’s been hurt a lot, and it takes him a long time to hone his mechanics. This year is no different, as it’s really only been his last few starts he’s been the guy we all hoped he’d be.
But when James Paxton is on, there isn’t anyone better. Tonight was a showcase for that. 99 pitches-no hitter. That’s a Tom Seaver start.
Paxton’s was the sixth no-hitter in Mariners history. Here’s something interesting. The first was Randy Johnson’s in 1990 and then Chris Bosio’s in 1993. It took the team 13 years to get their first with another not too long after. Then it was another 19 years before the combined no-no in 2012 that was started by Kevin Millwood and finished by five members of the bullpen. Between 2012 and 2018 there were four Mariners no-hitters, including the perfect game by Felix Hernandez in 2012, Hisashi Iwakuma’s no-no in 2015, and now Paxton zeroing out Toronto. Weird. It’s not like the M’s have produced a ton of great teams between 2012-18.
For James Paxton, congratulations. Nothing but the best. He’s like a high jumper who’s cleared eight feet. It only gets better from here.