It was a night James Paxton will never forget. It was night his teammates will never forget. And it was a night most Mariners fans will never forget. It was simply, one of those nights.
On Tuesday, May 8th, 2018, James Paxton threw the 6th no-hitter in Mariners history. What’s more, he was just the second Canadian born pitcher to throw one in MLB history. Paxton is also the first Canadian born player to throw a no-hitter in Canada.
Any of these facts are enough to make you smile. But remember, James Paxton could easily have been a Toronto Blue Jay. He was drafted by Toronto in the first round of the 2009 draft. Paxton was set to sign for $1.4 million, but Toronto held firm at $1 million and lost the rights to Paxton the following year. Oh, the irony.
Just 5 days after striking out 16 Oakland A’s, it seemed highly unlikely Paxton could possibly outdo himself. Of course, in front of his home country, he did just that. What is interesting about this no-hitter was that Paxton didn’t even have his best stuff. It didn’t matter.
Paxton used his fastball and curveball to battle through a tough Blue Jays lineup. Overall, there were several defensive plays made behind him. But in the end, Paxton stood tall. He would not allow himself to be beaten by anything less than his best. The final 3 pitches were clocked at 98, 100, and 99 MPH. In fact, his final 7 pitches were all heaters, the slowest clocking in a 96 MPH.
James Paxton now finds himself forever etched in the history books. He needed just 99 pitches to complete the feat, a remarkable achievement on its own right. Paxton joins Chris Bosio, Randy Johnson, Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, as well as the 4 Mariners who combined to no-hit the Dodgers, as the only members of the Mariners No-Hit club.