Although the New York Yankees lost the series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, James Paxton pitched his first good game of the season. However, Paxton still lacked the velocity of previous seasons but his performance was encouraging.
The second-year Yankee pitched 6 and 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and three runs. He rang up 11 while walking just one.
Paxton may not be the one to blame about the three runs on his line. That could be on Aaron Boone, who may have left Paxton in for too long.
The lefty allowed a leadoff double in the seventh inning to Jose Martinez, before getting Hunter Renfroe to pop-up. Then, Paxton served up back-to-back home runs to Michael Brosseau and Brandon Lowe to make a 3-0 lead quickly turn into a 3-3 tie. Boone would pull Paxton after the two bombs, but it seems like the leash was a bit too long on Paxton.
The fastball was the best that we’ve seen from Paxton this season, but it still isn’t what it used to be. He mainly sat around 92-93 mph but did touch 94 mph. He normally sits around 95-97 mph, but Sunday was at least an improvement from last time out.
It’s hard to tell what exactly is going on with Paxton, but him and Boone both claim that he is fully healthy. Sunday was definitely encouraging, and the Yankees hope that his velocity will continue to climb over time.
After an off-day on Monday, the Yankees begin a nine game homestead beginning with the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. They play two with the Braves before another off-day, then four games against the Red Sox and three more against the Rays.