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.
Juan Nicasio took over for Paxton in the eighth inning with a 2-0 lead. He promptly gave up a game-tying two-run home run to Jed Lowrie, taking the W away from Paxton.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.