That’s more like it.
I’ll have to reluctantly adhere to the nickname “Big Maple” for Canadian James Paxton, but with how he’s been pitching I’d call him just about anything. After Tuesday’s bloodbath, the M’s put up 15 hits against van-dweller Daniel Norris and Co. and shut out the Tigers.
Paxton Rebounds from Rough Last Outing
This is the James Paxton we’d been waiting for and the Paxton we’ve seen over the majority of Spring and this season. He struggled in his last start, but came out and absolutely silenced the Detroit bats, going for seven shutout innings and posting nine strikeouts.
With King Felix battling injuries and Iwakuma struggling so far this year, Paxton has the opportunity and, I daresay, obligation to step up as the ace for a Seattle team that desperately needs to make the playoffs. We all know how things go in Seattle when we have a tall, lefty power pitcher on the mound…
Paxton seems to understand and embrace his new role as The Man, telling reporters: “I want guys to feel confident when I take the mound. I think that they know that I’m giving it everything I’ve got when I go out there.”
Segura Back, Heredia Goes Yard
Guillermo Heredia’s follow through on his swing kills me. The man is 10 feet to first base and still following through, left arm extended, bat in the air, watching the ball. I still think he’s Seattle’s own Yasiel Puig a la 2013, and he showed his power in yesterday’s game. His bomb landed 409 feet from home plate, on a line the whole time. Between this and Gamel’s RBI walk, it’s nice to see consistent, if not explosive, run production from the smaller-name outfielders.
Nellie Cruz came away with another home run, his fifth on the year.
Felix and Haniger Out Until May
All Mariner fans now impatiently await the return of their King and their prodigy. Unfortunately, that return won’t happen today. King Felix is expected to be out at least two or three weeks, with Haniger not expected to return sooner than mid-May, according to Lookout Landing.
The M’s are currently tied with Detroit 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, looking to pull out the series win.