On Wednesday the Mariners announced that right handed pitcher Felix Hernandez will be placed on the 15 day disabled list with a left calf strain. It was rumored that Hernandez injured his calf celebrating one of the Mariners five home runs they hit Tuesday in a 16 to four win. So with the injured Hernandez in line to start Wednesday the Mariners had to turn to left hander James Paxton coming up from triple A Tacoma.
Paxton’s start Wednesday against the Padres was atrocious. The Mariners got off to a hot start of Padres starter Christian Friedrich, sending nine batters to the plate in the first inning and scoring three runs off a Cano homer. However, the M’s left them loaded to end the inning and turned the ball over to Paxton. After striking out the first batter and getting outfielder Wil Myers into an 0-2 count, Paxton missed on a fastball leaving it out over the plate and Myers promptly deposited the ball into the right field bleachers. It was all down hill from there for the Mariners lengthy left hander as he gave up six runs in that first inning. He finished the first with only one earned run but that was due to his error on a ball that should have been an inning ending double play.
He pitched 3.2 innings giving up ten hits and eight runs, three earned, in his first start in the big leagues this season and the Mariners dropped the game 14-6. Paxton has been lights out in the past, showing serious promise as a left handed start who can throw in the upper 90’s, he topped out at 99 last night with an average velocity of 97. His command has been shaky and that was again the issue last night as he just left too many pitches over the middle of the plate. Let’s hope Paxton can hold it together for these next two starts as Felix recovers.