Hoptown’s Mr. Baseball McGee Shines in First start with Mariners

    In his first career big-league start, Seattle Mariners right-hander Easton McGee, a former standout at Hopkinsville High School and 2016’s Kentucky Mr. Baseball dazzled with 6 2/3 no-hit innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately, the Mariners suffered an extra-innings loss. McGee’s perfect game was disrupted in the fifth inning when he walked Blue Jays third baseman, Matt Chapman. Chapman broke up the no-hit bid in the seventh with a double off the center-field wall.

    After McGee’s exit, right-handed reliever Matt Brash stepped in to retire Daulton Varsho and end the threat. McGee’s final line included 6 2/3 scoreless innings, one hit, one walk, and two strikeouts. The Blue Jays ultimately claimed victory in the 10th inning, winning 1-0 on Varsho’s walk-off single with no outs and bases loaded.

    While McGee’s performance didn’t result in the first no-hitter of the young Major League Baseball season, other pitchers such as Drew Smyly, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Spencer Strider have come close in recent weeks.

    The 25-year-old pitcher was recalled from Triple-A on Saturday morning before his start. He had previously made just one big-league appearance, pitching three innings in relief for the Tampa Bay Rays. After being claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox in October, the Mariners purchased his rights in November.

    McGee showcased a varied arsenal during his 64-pitch performance, including a sinker, four-seamer, curve, slider, cutter, and changeup. He topped at 93 mph and averaged 85 mph, generating seven swinging strikes.

    Despite McGee’s near-miss, the Mariners have six no-hitters in franchise history, with the most recent one recorded by James Paxton in May 2018 against the Blue Jays. Since 2010, Seattle has achieved three other no-hitters: Hisashi Iwakuma against the Baltimore Orioles in 2015, Felix Hernandez’s perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, and a six-pitcher combined effort against the Los Angeles Dodgers in June 2012 following an injury to starter Kevin Millwood.

    As Easton McGee’s career unfolds, the Hopkinsville community can be proud of their hometown hero who is already making a name for himself in the Major League Baseball scene.

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