WASHINGTON — Now that’s what you call a rebound.
Taijuan Walker bounced back from the disappointing results in his previous outing to shut out the Nationals over seven innings in the Mets’ 4-1 win on Thursday at Nationals Park. Walker was efficient and dominant as he cruised through the Nats lineup, throwing 85 pitches and allowing just three hits and one walk in that span.
The Mets (22-11) won their ninth series of the season, continuing their Amazin’ streak of being the only MLB team to avoid losing a series this year. The key for the 2022 Mets has been winning the series opener, something they’ve done eight out of 10 games thus far. The Mets wrapped up their 13-game stretch against divisional opponents (Phillies, Braves, Phillies again, and Nationals) going 8-5.
It’s been a peculiar season for Walker, as he faced a team not named the Phillies for the first time this season on Thursday. After undergoing offseason knee surgery in January, Walker was a slower ramp-up in spring training, a bit behind his rotation mates. Though he broke camp with the club and made his first turn through the rotation, Walker left his season debut after just two innings with right shoulder bursitis.
Walker missed two starts on the injured list and successfully completed rehab outings to build up his pitch count. Once he came off the IL and rejoined the rotation, he threw five scoreless innings against the Phillies in a game the Mets wound up losing. His next start and third straight outing against the Phillies featured a crooked number, as he allowed the division rivals to tack on seven runs (six earned) in just four innings.
But Thursday’s terrific start showed promise for Walker as he contributed to outs not just from the mound, but in the field too. Walker helped in a strange 5-6-1 fielder’s choice, tagging Juan Soto out at third base and pushing the Nationals right fielder flat on his back, in an awful baserunning decision by Washington that the Mets happily took care of in the fourth inning.
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment