Tuesday night, Canadian James Paxton would blank the Toronto Blue Jays.
It was the sixth no-hitter pitched by a Mariner in the franchise's history that started in 1977, the same season the Blue Jays began. The first was Toronto's Dick Fowler, who led the Philadelphia Athletics to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Browns at Shibe Park on September 9, 1945.
Nearly A BLUE JAY - Paxton was drafted out of the University of Kentucky by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009, 37th overall. With hitters selling out for home runs and accepting more strikeouts as the necessary tradeoff, and with pitchers throwing 95-plus with regularity, is it any surprise that it's become harder and harder to get a hit, or that we've already seen three no-hitters before Memorial Day?
The Blue Jays were handed a bombshell they were not anticipating yesterday when closer Roberto Osuna was arrested and charged with domestic assault on his girlfriend.
But the magical hit-saving play came in the seventh inning with two outs and Kevin Pillar at the plate. The product of Ladner, B.C., became the first Canadian to pitch a Major League Baseball no-hitter in his home country. By Statcast's measurements, he got as high as 99.5 miles per hour in the ninth, making him one of only six pitchers in the last five years to throw that hard that late in a game-and Paxton is far and away the geezer of the bunch at 29 years old. Kendrys Morales then lined the next pitch hard to center field but right at Dee Gordon.
Nationals 4, Padres 0: Jeremy Hellickson took a ideal game into the seventh inning and doubled home a run as Washington won at San Diego. Some pitchers wilt after 100 pitches, Paxton's velocity rarely dips after 80-plus pitches. I'm going to rear back and throw it is as hard I can.' Fastball is my best pitch.
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The Marcus Stroman struggles are becoming increasingly troublesome as the hurler surrendered five earned runs last night versus the Mariners. "I'm going to let it rip top of the zone and see what happens,"' Paxton said.
Paxton's four-seam fastball averaged a staggering 95.9 miles per hour on Tuesday, and he maxed out at 100.2. He used 99 pitches and struck out seven on route to the milestone, getting former MVP Josh Donaldson to ground out to end the game.
Jon Tayler writes for SI.com, "Consider that, entering Tuesday's action, the league as a whole was hitting just.244 this season". I just threw my hands in the air and just enjoyed the moment with my teammates.
"I had some family here tonight and friends [and it was] special to share it with them".
"My first start here in Toronto, you might not remember it, but I do", he said. They were giving me some trouble in the seventh inning, but once I got past that, they started kind of cheering me on.