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.
Yesterday the Chicago White Sox made a big signing of a new player, locking up catcher Yasmani Grandal for four years. Today they’ve made another big splash, re-signed current White Sox star José Abreu to a three-year, $50 million contract extension.
Abreu had already accepted the team’s qualifying offer last week so he was ensured of staying in Chicago for 2020, but now they’ll tear that up and replace it with this pact, adding two more years.
Abreu, who turns 33 before spring training, is coming off a 2019 season in which he posted a line of .284/.330/.503 with 33 home runs and 123 RBI. He has spent his entire major league career in Chicago, putting up a line of .293/.349/.513 and socking 179 homers in six seasons.