And who wouldn't want to pitch for the hottest team in baseball? That would be like asking for a trade to the Yankees because you want to play for a contender. Clearly the Mariners are the best contender in baseball and James Paxton has pitched like a guy that wants to join the bigs ever since his return from the DL.
Last night in Birmingham, Paxton went 6 innings, allowing 5 hits, 0 R, 1 BB, and 8 strikeouts, inducing 8 groundouts and just 1 flyout in a 9-1 Jackson victory. Since coming off the DL, Paxton has now struck out 32 and walked 9 in 32.1 innings. That's a dramatically better walk rate than before when he was walking over 15% of batters compared to just 7.5% in July and walking 1 of 23 batters last night.
Brad Miller went 3-for-3 with a home run and is now hitting .400/.486/.633 in 8 games for Jackson. The shortstop might only have a future at a corner outfield spot, but he's been hitting like a corner outfielder this season anyway.
Joe Dunigan and Nate Tenbrink also homered.
The Mariners might not actually make the playoffs this season and Paxton might not make a start for them, but it's okay to feel good about both the big league club and the prospects right now. By the start of next season, Paxton, Miller, Danny Hultzen, Nick Franklin and the Mariners could all be one big, happy family.