One day after Justin Verlander matched the 2018 season high with 14 strikeouts, Mariners starter James Paxton surpassed it. The hard-throwing lefty punched out 16 batters across seven shutout frames against the Athletics on Wednesday night. Paxton yielded just five hits and a walk on 105 pitches.
Paxton’s 16 are the most strikeouts in a game since the Rockies’ Jon Gray on September 17, 2016 against the Padres. Danny Duffy, Max Scherzer, and Vince Velasquez also struck out 16 that year. The feat has only been accomplished 11 times since the start of the 2011 season.
Paxton didn’t come into Wednesday’s start with the best stats. In six starts, he carried a 5.12 ERA with a 44/15 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. His ERA is now down to 4.19.