Scott Servais: Mel Stottlemyre Jr was in no mood for jokes during James Paxton’s no-hitter
“I’m sitting next to Mel Stottlemyre, and Mel’s a nervous wreck because he wants the no-hitter so bad for Paxton,” Servais told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Groz and Tom on Wednesday. “And as we’re going through the eighth inning, you know, the first ball’s hit deep, (Ben) Gamel makes a nice catch in left-center. Then Dee Gordon catches the second out. Pax gets the third out, and after he gets the third out, I go, ‘Mel, he looks good to me. Send him back out.’”
Stottlemyre wasn’t in the mood for jokes. Not with one of his pitchers just three outs away from history.
“I’m trying to be light about it – Mel won’t even, like, look at me. He won’t crack a smile or anything. He just turns and walks away,” Servais said.
Jokes aside, Stottlemyre and Servais were able to watch Paxton take care of business as the big lefty whipped his way through the ninth inning to cap off a magical performance in the 5-0 Mariners win over the Blue Jays.
Is there a chance Wednesday could have a similar outcome?
“I told Mel, ‘Just hand Wade LeBlanc the gameplan you gave Pax and we’ll be fine,’” Servais said, mentioning Wednesday’s starter LeBlanc, whose fastball tops out about 10 mph below Paxton’s.
Servais talked about much more with Bob, Groz and Tom, including what he’s seen out Paxton in his last few starts, Dee Gordon’s improving defense in center field, and how managing during a no-hitter compares to catching one, which he did for Daryl Kile with the Houston Astros in 1993. You can listen to the full interview here.