New York Yankees: James Paxton roughed up for second time in as many starts

Nathan Solomon
New York Yankees, James Paxton
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) walks to the dugout after warming up before game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, James Paxton had the chance to wipe the memory of Yankee fans after his rough outing to open the season. Instead, he saw no improvement from his season debut and had another poor outing.

Paxton lasted just three innings, giving up seven hits and five runs to the Boston Red Sox. Three runs were earned, and he struck out four batters.

After retiring the first two batters of the game, Paxton allowed a double to J.D. Martinez and a home run to Xander Bogaerts. However, Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks seemed to lose the ball hit by Martinez, as the ball could have been caught and would have avoided the early mess.

After a scoreless second inning, the third inning got really messy. But, the defense was once again unable to help.

Hicks lost another ball in the sky, allowing Kevin Pillar to reach. Rafael Devers drove him in with a single, but then two more singles from the Red Sox and an error from Miguel Andujar allowed two more to score.

Even if the Yankees were playing good defense, it would have been just a matter of time until Paxton got rocked. His velocity was down again, even more so from his previous start.

His season opening loss against the Nationals saw him with an average fastball velocity of 92.4 mph, and his performance against the Red Sox on Sunday saw him with just a 91.5 mph average fastball.

Something is clearly wrong with Paxton, but skipper Aaron Boone believes it’s just mechanical. He said in an in-game interview that Paxton “feels good” and just needs to find his velocity.

Hopefully it’s something simple that can be worked out quickly. If it can’t be fixed soon, Paxton could get removed from the rotation and replaced with a young arm.