Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Canadian pitcher James Paxton no-hits Blue Jays

Canadian pitcher James Paxton no-hits Blue Jays

James Paxton became only the second Canadian pitcher to toss a no-no putting his name in the record books with Dick Fowler. Paxton was actually drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round of the 2009 draft, but he did not sign with the team and was subsequently selected by the Mariners in the fourth round of the 2010 draft.

The pitcher - who is nicknamed "The Big Maple" - has a Maple Leaf tattooed on his forearm, with a mural of an island that his family has a cabin on.

A look at some of the news and notes surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays after an eventful day yesterday involving Roberto Osuna and James Paxton.

"The fans were great", he said. "The fans were giving me some trouble in the seventh inning, but once I got past that, they started kind of cheering me on".

Oakland's Sean Manaea had thrown the first solo no-hitter of the year last month while the Los Angeles Dodgers threw a combined no-hitter last Friday against the San Diego Padres.

That would be Toronto, with the Blue Jays as his overmatched victims, making Paxton the first Canadian-born Major League Baseball player to toss a no-hitter on his home soil.

"Honestly, (my mind) was blank when the ball was hit and I was just watching", Paxton said of Seager's save. And I was like I'm going to let it rip, top of the zone, see what happens. By Statcast's measurements, he got as high as 99.5 miles per hour in the ninth, making him one of only six pitchers in the last five years to throw that hard that late in a game-and Paxton is far and away the geezer of the bunch at 29 years old. I'm just going to rear back and throw as hard as I can.

While Paxton's performance was outstanding, his no-hitter hinged on an incredible play from Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, who saved the no-hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning when he stole a hit from Kevin Pillar.

Russell Martin led off the eighth with a long drive that left fielder Ben Gamel caught near the wall.

"What a defence tonight. That was wonderful. Those guys were making every play", Paxton said. As strikeouts go up, contact has gone down: According to FanGraphs, the league's swinging-strike rate of 10.7% is the highest on record since 2002, when that stat was first tracked, narrowly edging out last year's previous champion of 10.5. Donaldson ended it with a hard one-hopper to Seager.

Healy pumped his fist after catching Seager's throw, and the Mariners streamed out of the dugout, dousing their pitcher with a cooler as the crowd of 20,513 cheered.

The eagle mistook Paxton, who was standing in the outfield, for its owner and tried to land on his shoulder. Over nine innings in Toronto, the big Canadian lefty struck out seven Blue Jays and needed just 99 pitches to finish the job, throwing as hard as 100 miles per hour in his final frame. Felix Hernandez threw a flawless game in 2012, and Randy Johnson tossed Seattle's first no-hitter in 1990.

The Toronto native no-hit the St. Louis Browns in 1945 while a member of the Philadelphia Athletics. After starting the game by allowing an infield single to Kansas City's John Jay, the 25-year-old righty gave up consecutive home runs to Jorge Soler, Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez. Stroman now 0-5 and sports a bloated 7.71 earned run average.

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