Mariners v. Mets Game 3: Big Maple v. Seth Lugo

ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 16: James Paxton
ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 16: James Paxton /

In the rubber match of this series, the Seattle Mariners are sending out their ace, James Paxton, against the Mets’ Seth Lugo. Backed by “The Maple Grove,” the Mariners will be looking to climb back to .500 for seemingly the umpteenth time in the last few weeks.

James Paxton (10-3) is on an unreal tear at the moment. His month of July has been stellar, and that might even be an understatement. He is 5-0 in five starts, he’s pitched 33.1 innings and maintains an month ERA of 1.62. These numbers put him up with the top of the league, and every time he pitches, the Mariners and the fans have confidence he will power them to a win. Eh?

As corny as that bit sounds, he has only had one four game stretch where he did not pitch well. How bad was he? Well, he posted an ERA of 7.65 (17 runs in 20 innings). He received all three of his loss decisions in that span.

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Now you can’t just take away four games, it doesn’t work like that, but just for the kicks and giggles, if you could, He would be 10-0 with a season ERA of 1.66. Those numbers sustained over a year win you a Cy Young every season. That’s just how solid Paxton has been all year. 13 of 17 starts have been brilliant. No wonder the fans love him so much.

So, he goes out Sunday to face Seth Lugo. Lugo is a very interesting case. He started the year with one start at Advanced-A, spent two starts at AA, and has been with the big league club since. Now, while that sounds crazy, he pitched in 17 games, making 8 starts for the Mets in 2016, and posted an ERA of 2.67. So he didn’t just come out of nowhere. In 2017 though, he has a 4.10 ERA over nine appearances (eight starts).

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The Mariners will look to get the bats rolling against Lugo and give Paxton a little cushion to work with. Either way, the M’s will likely get another quality start from Big Maple and they could cruise to a game and series win. First pitch: 1:10 Seattle time.