Dodgers News: James Paxton ‘Wills Himself To Success’

The Los Angeles Dodgers took down the Cincinnati Reds in a 7-3 win on Friday, after a terrific starting pitching performance from left-hander James Paxton.

Making his eighth start of the regular season, Paxton lasted six innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. A few defensive misplays by the Dodgers extended some frames, but the veteran gave them enough to stay in a good spot.

The 35-year-old owns a 2.84 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, with a .230 batting average allowed. His record stands at 5-0, and has continued to be a solid piece in the Dodgers rotation.

The veteran is walking a high-wire, with his expected numbers showing he’s due for a bit of regression. However, he’s stranded 87% of runners who’ve reached base against him, utilizing his four-seam fastball and knuckle curve more than any of his other pitches.

“Every player is going to say they compete, but this guy just sort of wills himself to success and putting us in position to win,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He got two ground-ball double plays tonight that kept his pitch-count down.

“Left a curveball down to Stephenson that he hit for a homer, I know he’d love to have that one back. But overall, just a really good night for James. Even without his best stuff, he still goes deep into games and takes care of our ‘pen.”

Paxton logged his fourth quality start of the year, inducing a 50% ground ball rate against the Reds. On the year, he’s induced seven double plays, which ranks within the top-10 across Major League Baseball.

The southpaw has now gone consecutive outings without a walk, which indicates he’s taking a step forward as well.

Analyzing James Paxton

Paxton is getting the job done, plain and simple. He’s keeping the Dodgers in a good spot when he starts, while limiting big time damage.

His peripheral data isn’t kind to him, but his outcomes haven’t hurt him yet. The worry, is that he isn’t missing enough bats, which could come to bite him.

A huge plus for Paxton has been his fastball, which has generated a plus six run value, allowing a .220 batting average against. Paxton has also kept the damage on his curveball to a minimum, allowing a .385 slugging against his secondary pitch.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!