In a new segment for the Independent Sports News, we will take a look at interesting storylines involving Canadian Major League Baseball players. There is no doubt that the Seattle Mariners currently have a gem in James Paxton of Richmond, British Columbia.
On Friday, Paxton tied a Mariners franchise record. He won his seventh consecutive start for the Mariners, tying a franchise record previously set by Jamie Moyer and Scott Bankhead.
Paxton had a quality start for Seattle on Friday as he threw six innings and only gave up two earned runs in a 5-2 win over the Kansas City Royals. In his 95 pitches, he only gave up four hits and one walk. Paxton also had seven strikeouts.
During his seven game winning streak, Paxton has seen his record improve from 5-3 to 12-3. In 45.333 innings, Paxton has had outstanding control. He has 53 strikeouts and only seven walks and seen his earned run average drop from 3.44 to 2.70.
The Mariners are trying to feed off of Paxton’s success as well. The Seattle fans have created a Maple Grove section. While Felix Hernandez has his high number of supporters who come to Mariners games wearing yellow shirts during his starts, a small group of Seattle fans now bring up signs that say “Eh” when Paxton gets a strikeout. A maple tree has even been put in the stands to honour Paxton, whose new nickname is creatively, “The Big Maple.”
The Mariners will need Paxton to perform at a high level over the next while because Hernandez is on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. Mariners fans also need to be excited because Seattle is in playoff contention. They are only a game and a half back of the Kansas City Royals for the second wildcard spot in the American League.