Yankees ace James Paxton wins 10th straight start
Since August 2, Yankees left-hander James Paxton is 10-2 with a 2.25 ERA and has more than proved why he deserves the ball in Game 1 of the ALDS.
On Saturday afternoon, the Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 7-2, giving them 101 victories on the season — their most since 2009’s banner campaign.
Starting pitcher James Paxton allowed just one unearned run on three hits through six innings (87 pitches, 63 strikes) while striking out seven batters and walking none. His ERA in four starts (24.2 innings) during the month of September is a minuscule 0.36.
In picking another victory, the Big Maple became only the fourth pitcher in club history to win 10 consecutive contests — Ron Guidry, Whitey Ford and Lefty Gomez being the others. Guidry actually won 11 straight decisions in 1979.
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An impressive streak, to say the least, Paxton hasn’t lost a game since July 26 versus the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Despite dropping two out of his first four starts in pinstripes, since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for most of May (he made only two starts), Paxton is now 15-6 in 28 games.
His 3.73 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .239 BAA and a 185:55 K:BB ratio this season prove that Paxton should be handed the ball in Game 1 of the upcoming ALDS. The only thing that could stop manager Aaron Boone from doing so is the fact that the 30-year-old has yet to pitch in a single postseason game during his time in the big leagues.
With Masahiro Tanaka having 30 total innings of playoff experience in three years (four series), it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Masa on the hill to begin the divisional round.
Even if Paxton gets the nod in Game 2 or 3, for that matter, as long as he continues to attack the strike zone with a mixture of 96-mph four-seamers, 95-mph sinkers, 88-mph cutters and an occasional 86-mph changeup, the Yankees will be set up for success come October.
Paxton has always had great stuff, however, between consistent trips to the injured list throughout his seven-year career — and being hidden away in the Pacific Northwest; finally, the world is getting to see how stellar of a pitcher James Paxton really is.