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Mariners starter James Paxton tosses a no-hitter against the Blue Jays

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Mariners starter James Paxton no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night and he did so in dominant fashion.

Paxton required only 99 pitches — making this not only a no-hitter but a Maddux — striking out seven and walking three. His high heat was overpowering all night long. Indeed, he hit 100 m.p.h. on his second to last pitch of the game (Statcast called it 99.5, but let’s round up, shall we?). This comes on the heels of Paxton’s 16-strikeout performance against the Athletics six days ago. That was the highest strikeout total for any pitcher this season. This was the superior historical accomplishment.

While the Blue Jays did not challenge Paxton all that much, his final inning was one of his easiest of the night. The first batter, Anthony Alford, swung at the first pitch he saw and fouled out down the right field line. Next up was Teoscar Hernandez, who struck out on three straight pitches. The last better Paxton faced was former AL MVP Josh Donaldson. Pitch one: swinging strike. Pitch two: a 100 m.p.h. strike looking and then . . . Donaldson grounded out to third to end it. The no-hitter, in Canada, from a Canadian pitcher who sports a large maple leaf tattoo on his forearm, which he pointed to as a nice nod to the Toronto crowd. That had to feel good for Paxton and even to some of the fans on hand at Rogers Centre, even if they’re Jays fans.

It was the sixth no-hitter for a Mariners pitcher. The previous ones to accomplish it: Randy Johnson in 1990, Chris Bosio in 1993, a six-pitcher combined no hitter, started by Kevin Millwood, in 2012, Felix Hernandez in 2012 — his was a perfect game — and Hisashi Iwakuma in 2015. All of those happened in Seattle. Paxton’s was the first ever on the road.

Congratulations, James Paxton!

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.