Well, shit. The entire goal of this weekend series was to be tune-ups for the October run and simply avoiding injury. That was doubly true for the rotation, which has been much improved of late. Particularly James Paxton, who is 10-0 in his last 10 starts.
Paxton was roughed up a bit in the first inning–he threw 21 pitches and gave up 3 hits (1 HR) and 2 ER–but then immediately exited the game after that. In the top of the second, the PIX feed showed Aaron Boone, Larry Rothschild, and trainer Steve Donahue huddling in the dugout. Ben Heller immediately began warming up, and sure enough, Paxton did not come out for the bottom of the second. Meredith said on air that this was not according to plan (Boone wanted him to throw 4 or 5 innings) and Heller was granted extra pitches to warm up.
Not great! I’ll update this once we find out more, though hopefully, this is just extremely precautionary given the circumstances. Please?
UPDATE (9:51 pm): Exhale, everyone. It’s time to exhale. James Paxton left tonight’s game because–I kid you not–he had a tight ass. Okay, what the team actually said was “tight left glute” and they specified that he left the game as a precautionary measure.
All things considered, I think that this is essentially the best possible outcome (at least until we hear more). Precautionary and seems to be a relatively minor thing, and besides, the Yankees have every incentive in the world to play it safe right now. Let’s all relax, for now.
Anyway, I think we could all use a laugh after this scare, so check this out. Got an actual laugh out loud from me:
More to come, if we need it. I hope not.
Update (10:34 am): Paxton and Boone both spoke about the injury after the game. Both of them, predictably, downplayed it. Here’s what Boone had to say:
“I really don’t think it is anything big at all. He wanted to go back out there and normally I would have let him. I kind of sided with him and the next one is too important so I said, ‘That’s it.’ I didn’t want to mess with anything. I do think it’s kind of a minor deal. In between innings he felt a little tightness at the top of the glute. I am playing it super safe in that spot.’’
Sounds about right to me. Classic Aaron Boone stuff, although he’s 100 percent right. There was absolutely no point in pushing Paxton at even the slightest possibility of injury, so they made the right move. Here’s what Paxton himself had to say:
“I felt a little tightness, a little discomfort. I thought I could keep going, but they wanted to play it safe for what is next.’’
Hopefully, this is all it is. Paxton will have a full 6 days of rest before suiting up for Game 1 of the ALDS (one can only assume, at this point, that he is still going to pitch Game 1) so let’s all just hope for now that the time off clears it up and that Paxton is ready to rock n’ roll next Friday night against the Twins.